James Murdoch, the former CEO of 21st Century Fox, resigned as a director of News Corp., citing disagreements over some of the content published by the company’s news outlets and other strategic decisions.
21st Century Fox, which was sold to The Walt Disney Co. last year, was part of the empire built by mogul Rupert Murdoch, James’ father, who continues to control Fox Corp.--owner of Fox News--as well as News Corp. James Murdoch was rumored to be joining Disney after the sale. No job emerged and he left the family business when it was sold, pocketing a share of the $71 billion price tag.
In his brief resignation letter, James Murdoch did not elaborate on which content and decisions he disagreed with.
When he was with 21st Century Fox, James Murdoch was seen as wanting to tone down some of Fox News’ conservative and pro-President Trump commentary. He was involved in removing Fox News founder Roger Ailes and high rated Fox News primetime host Bill O’Reilly amid sexual harassment allegations.
His brother Lachlan Murdoch is now CEO of Fox.
“If James Murdoch hadn’t already left Fox Corp. last year, you would have seen him quit Fox Corp. today too,” said Angelo Carusone, CEO of media watchdog Media Matters.
“It’s hard to blame him. In this year alone, Fox News has put the lives of Americans at risk spreading dangerous medical misinformation about the pandemic, prevented effective government action to save lives and the economy, stoked racial tensions by elevating and promoting white supremacists in the network, and served as a mouthpiece for Trump’s conspiracy theories and extremism,” Carusone said. “The Murdochs’ money comes from making America sicker, weaker, more divided, and less competitive around the world. While his action of resigning alone does not absolve him of the blood on his hands caused by decades of Murdoch deceit, it’s an important step to no longer being part of the problem.”
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