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Lachlan Murdoch is taking sole charge of News Corp and Fox after helping guide the media giants for years with shrewd decision-making and scoring pivotal, lucrative deals for the companies.
Fox and News Corp announced Thursday that Rupert Murdoch, 92, will take on the new role of chairman emeritus of both companies, making 52-year-old Lachlan the sole chair of News Corp and the executive chair and chief executive of Fox.
Lachlan’s promotion comes after nine years serving as a co-chair for News Corp — including a notable stint as publisher of the New York Post — and four years as the CEO of Fox.
Most recently, Lachlan shocked sports media and the NFL when he shared on the company’s earnings call that Tom Brady inked a deal with Fox Sports, which The Post reported was for 10 years and $375 million.
Brady’s Fox contract came after Lachlan spearheaded the decision to relinquish Thursday Night Football broadcasting rights for the 2022 season to Amazon. At the time, Lachlan called it ” financially, …absolutely the right decision.”
It appears he was correct: TNF’s audience during its 2022 season on Amazon was down 42% compared to when it was on Fox.
Lachlan was born in London and raised in the US, where he graduated from Princeton University. At age 18, he accompanied his dad on a business trip to Australia, where he began his journalism career. By 22, he was a general manager of Queensland Newspapers. A year later, he was named publisher of The Australian, Australia’s first national paper that Murdoch founded in 1964.
In 1996 at age 25, Lachlan joined News Corp.
During his three-year tenure as The Post’s publisher from 2002 to 2005, Lachlan was lauded for growing the paper’s daily circulation by more than 40%, making it America’s seventh-largest daily.
He also oversaw the construction of a $250 million production plant in the Bronx in 2001 that made quality color printing possible.
Starting as News Corp’s executive director, Lachlan went on to become its deputy chief operating officer, then senior executive vice president, co-chair, and now sole chair.
During his 27-year stint, Lachlan showed he had inherited his father’s affinity for orchestrating mega-deals. In 2014, he led News Corp’s stretch outside of the print and TV news industry, when it purchased a controlling stake in REA Group.
The $10.8 million deal, which saw News Corp only dishing out $2.5 million in cash, gave the company a 61% stake in the Australia-based real estate advertising site.
REA Group is now valued at $6.8 billion.
After Lachlan stepped into an executive chairman role at 21st Century Fox in 2015, he became a key player in the company’s merger with Disney in 2019, bringing Comcast into a bidding war that helped achieve a sale price of $71.3 billion
The following year, Fox acquired Tubi for $440 million which, under Lachlan’s leadership, has become the No. 1 advertising-based, video-on-demand service. Tubi was recently valued at $3 billion by Bloomberg Research.
Murdoch launched his own venture back in 2005, a private investment firm based out of New South Wales, Australia, called Illyria Pty.
In 2009, Illyria acquired half of DMG Radio, before purchasing the remaining 50% in 2012. DMG rebranded under the name Nova Entertainment in 2014 and, with Lachlan as executive chairman, became Australia’s leading network of FM stations.
Lachlan and his wife of 25 years, Sarah O’Hare, share their three children: sons Kalan Alexander, 19, Aidan Patrick, 17, and daughter Aerin Elisabeth, 13.
Lachlan’s younger brother, James, resigned from News Corp’s board in 2020 after founding private investment company Lupa Systems while his older sister, Elisabeth, serves as the executive chairman of Sister, a London-based TV and film production company.