James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has reportedly been unhappy with the editorial direction of his family’s media outlets for some time now, and this week he decided to do something about it.
In a letter delivered on Friday, he informed News Corp that he would be resigning from the board of directors because of editorial disagreements. His name has already been scrubbed from the company’s online list of board members.
“We wish him the very best”
“My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions,” he wrote.
Murdoch’s father, Rupert, and brother, Lachlan, issued a statement of farewell thanking him for his “many years of service” to the family media empire.
“We wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” they wrote.
James Murdoch became CEO of 21st Century Fox in 2015, but was relieved of those duties after the $71.3 billion deal with Disney was finalized in 2019. He reportedly took his $2.1 billion cut from that deal and began to look for other companies to build.
He had long expressed disagreement with coverage by his family’s right-leaning news outlets. Earlier this year, he and his wife penned an editorial publicly rebuking News Corp media outlets over editorial decisions, especially in regards to climate change coverage.
“Not even watchable”
Among his financial donations are investments in startup companies combatting so-called fake news and support for the presidential campaigns of Pete Buttigieg and Joe Biden, according to the Daily Beast.
News Corp holds the Murdochs’ print publishing enterprises, including The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, HarperCollins, and more. The Fox News Channel, which along with other television broadcasting outlets is held by News Corp’s sister company Fox Corporation, has been criticized by President Donald Trump, among others, for leaning to the left in recent months.
“I was on Air Force One flying to the Great State of Texas, where I just landed,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “It is AMAZING in watching [Fox News] how different they are from four years ago. Not even watchable. They totally forgot who got them where they are!”
That shift was apparently not enough for James Murdoch, though.
While his family wishes him well, it remains to be seen whether his exit will signal a return toward more conservative coverage in both News Corp and Fox Corporation outlets.