Nick Ferrari is 'shocked with a small s' as Rupert Murdoch steps down

21 September 2023, 14:15 | Updated: 21 September 2023, 18:40

Nich Ferrari joins Tom Swarbrick on Rupert Murdoch

By Asher McShane

Rupert Murdoch has announced that is stepping down from his role of chairman at Fox and News Corp after 70 years.

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In conversation with Tom Swarbrick, Nick Ferrari reflects on Mr Murdoch as steps down from his post, telling Tom that "anyone who thinks that suddenly he's going to wander off, is misguided."

As Nick acknowledged the 'challenges' facing Fox and News Corp, he predicted the move is a 'managing of the next stage' although insisted Mr Murdoch will still have a hand in steering the organisation.

Mr Murdoch will be taking on the new role of Chairman Emeritus.

His son Lachlan Murdoch, 52, will become the sole Chair of News Corp, and continue as Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Corporation.

Lachlan Murdoch said: "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."

Nick reflected on his time working under Mr Murdoch, telling Tom that the times he was "terrified" of the media mogul were only when something had been done wrong, or crucially when they "fell behind the opposition."

Lachlan Murdoch, 52, will become the sole Chair of News Corp
Lachlan Murdoch, 52, will become the sole Chair of News Corp. Picture: Getty

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt commenting on Mr Murdoch's tenure to LBC said: "He, love him or loathe him. had a defining influence on all of our lives," as he deemed him a "formidable operator."

He added that he had "immense respect" for him.

Jeremy Hunt on Murdoch as he steps down

Murdoch, 92, informed workers of the changes in a letter noting he was in good health. He will officially make the transition in November.

He wrote in a letter: "I am writing to let you all know that I have decided to transition to the role of Chairman Emeritus at Fox and News.

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"For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change. But the time is right for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams and a passionate, principled leader in Lachlan who will become sole Chairman of both companies.

"Neither excessive pride nor false humility are admirable qualities. But I am truly proud of what we have achieved collectively through the decades, and I owe much to my colleagues, whose contributions to our success have sometimes been unseen outside the company but are deeply appreciated by me.

"Whether the truck drivers distributing our papers, the cleaners who toil when we have left the office, the assistants who support us or the skilled operators behind the cameras or the computer code, we would be less successful and have less positive impact on society without your day-after-day dedication.

"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."

Murdoch went on to say the battle over freedom of speech and freedom of thought had never been more intense, and he said his family remained firmly committed to that cause. He criticized both contemptuous elites and the media in "cahoots" with them for pushing narratives rather than seeking the truth.

"In my new role, I can guarantee you that I will be involved every day in the contest of ideas," he wrote.

Lachlan's new role will start following the Annual General Meetings in mid-November.  

Mr Murdoch got into the newspaper business in the 1950s, and became a major Hollywood executive in 1985 when he purchased Twentieth Century Fox from oilman Marvin Davis for $600 million.