James Murdoch Leaves News Corp Board over Editorial Differences

By: Sashwata Saha
02 Aug 2020 Class of 2020, Kolkata

James Murdoch, the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, resigned from the board of News Corp, the media company his father helped found, citing “disagreements” over editorial content on Friday. The company put up the notice on its website on Saturday afternoon.


Jill Goldsmith, the co-business editor of Deadline has called the move “the latest in periodic bouts of drama in the media dynasty.”


James, the youngest and liberal-leaning son has had issues with editorial content before in the broader business of the family that also controls Fox News. He and his wife, Kathryn are both supporters of 2020 US presidential nominee, Joe Biden and have contributed $1.23 million to the Democrat’s campaign.


In his letter of resignation, published by the Guardian on Saturday, Murdoch wrote, “My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions.”


The Murdochs have two media companies, News Corp and Fox Corp. The latter of which is the parent company of Fox News and the Fox Broadcast Network, created after 21st Century Fox sold its entertainment assets to the Walt Disney Company in August 2019. On the other hand, News Corp owns The Times and The Sun newspapers and their various supplements in the UK as well as The Daily Telegraph and The Australian in Australia.


James Murdoch, 47, is the fourth child of 88-year-old Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire after whose business practices the media revenue model ‘murdochism’ was termed. Lachlan Murdoch, 48, is viewed as the heir apparent of the empire.


While not immediately apparent what editorial content might have fueled James Murdoch’s decision to resign, he and Lachlan had recently indicated discomfort with the conservative editorial stance practised by much of News Corp and Fox Corp.


Dominic Rushe, the business editor of The Guardian, US and a former employee at News Corp said in his column, “James has repeatedly accused Rupert Murdoch’s Australian newspapers of propagating climate ‘misinformation’ and giving a platform to climate science deniers, including during Australia’s recent bushfires crisis.”

James had also previously criticised Fox News in an interview to The New Yorker in 2019. The board seat was James’ last formal role inside the company.

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