NEW YORK: Rupert Murdoch has stepped down as the chairman of Fox Corp and News Corp, ending a more than seven-decade career during which he created a media empire spanning from Australia to the United States.

His son, Lachlan Murdoch, will become the sole chairman of News Corp and continue as the chair and CEO of Fox, the companies said on Thursday (Sept 21). The transition solidifies Lachlan’s role as the leader of the media empire, putting to rest questions of succession within the Murdoch family.

Lachlan takes over the Murdoch empire as the media industry is battered by challenges ranging from the decline in traditional television viewership, to news organizations battling tech companies over alleged copyright theft in the age of artificial intelligence.

In a memo to staff on Thursday, Murdoch wrote: “Our companies are in robust health, as am I.”

Earlier this year Murdoch, 92, scrapped a plan that would have reunited his media empire by merging Fox and News Corp, after several top shareholders rejected the proposal on the grounds that it would fail to realise the full value of the company.

Murdoch, who has near-controlling stakes in both companies, will be appointed chairman emeritus of both companies.

The executive transition coincides with the annual meeting of shareholders for Fox and News Corp in mid-November.

Fox News continues to be the number one US cable news network, playing an influential role in US politics, particularly among Republicans who prize Fox's conservative-leaning audience.

Shares of Fox ended the day 3.2% higher after the news of Murdoch stepping down. News Corp shares gained 1.3%.

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