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Rupert Murdoch has promised to take an “active role” in News Corp by handing control of the company to his son

Rupert Murdoch has promised to take an “active role” in News Corp by handing control of the company to his son

Influential media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who officially transferred control of his News Corp company to his 92-year-old son Lachlan on Wednesday, has promised to play an “active role” in the company.

“I hope to continue to play an active role in the company,” Murdoch said during a general meeting of shareholders of the group of which he will become honorary chairman. His son Lachlan, 52, will take over the management of the company.

News Corp operates media (The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, New York Post) and publishing (HarperCollins) businesses in the US, UK and Australia, with revenues of US$10 billion (R$49 billion) in 2023.

On Friday, his son will also take over the management of Fox, the parent company of the Fox News television network, a reference for conservatives in the United States.

During the shareholders meeting, Murdoch, whose media outlets have been accused of promoting populism in the UK and US by supporting Brexit and the rise of Donald Trump, mentioned freedom of expression.

“There is no doubt that we should be concerned about the suppression of debate by an intolerant elite who regard dissenting views as anathema,” he said.

He added: “We are lucky to live in a country where dreams are not yet subject to regulation.”

In April this year, Fox News reached a $787.5 million settlement in a defamation case brought by election technology company Dominion, which accused the network of intentionally spreading false claims by subpoenaing its voting machines for a conspiracy to influence the 2020 US election.

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Lachlan will take over the leadership of a shrinking empire, following Disney’s 2017 purchase of the 21st Century Fox entertainment group and its extensive film catalog, for US$66 billion (R$321 billion). Since then, Fox has focused its efforts on sports and news.