AceShowbiz - Rupert Murdoch is retiring from his media empire at the age of 92. The Australian business mogul is quitting as chairman of the board at both News Corp and Fox at their annual general meetings next month, and will instead take on the role of chairman emeritus at the companies.
Replacing him as News Corp's sole chair is his son Lachlan who continues as executive chairman and chief executive of Fox.
In a message to employees, Rupert told them the companies were "in robust health, as am I," and he is looking forward to the future. He wrote, "Our companies are in robust health, as am I. Our opportunities far exceed our commercial challenges. We have every reason to be optimistic about the coming years - I certainly am, and plan to be here to participate in them."
He then went on to hit out at the "battle" surrounding freedom of speech. He said, "The battle for the freedom of speech and, ultimately, the freedom of thought, has never been more intense. Self-serving bureaucracies are seeking to silence those who would question their provenance and purpose."
"Elites have open contempt for those who are not members of their rarefied class. Most of the media is in cahoots with those elites, peddling political narratives rather than pursuing the truth."
Although he is stepping back as chairman, the media tycoon pledged to stay involved in the "contest of ideas" and staff would be able to see him in the office late on Friday afternoons. Lachlan paid tribute to his "pioneering" father.
He said in a statement, "On behalf of the Fox and News Corp boards of directors, leadership teams and all the shareholders who have benefited from his hard work, I congratulate my father on his remarkable 70-year career."
"We thank him for his vision, his pioneering spirit, his steadfast determination, and the enduring legacy he leaves to the companies he founded and countless people he has impacted. We are grateful that he will serve as Chairman Emeritus and know he will continue to provide valued counsel to both companies."
Rupert took over his father's newspaper business in Australia in 1954 and gradually expanded to the US and UK with the acquision of titles including The Sun, News of the World, The Times, New York Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
He also set up Sky, which is now owned by Comcast, and became a naturalised US citizen in 1985 in order to satisfy the legal of TV station ownership in America so he could buy a stake in 20th Century Fox, later going on to buy out the whole company and the Metromedia television stations, forming what became the Fox Broadcasting Company.