Sunday 2 August 2020 11:24 am

Rupert Murdoch’s son quits News Corp over 'editorial disagreements'

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s youngest son has quit the board of News Corporation citing “disagreements over editorial content”.

James Murdoch, once considered a potential successor to his father’s media empire, announced his resignation in a bombshell letter, disclosed by News Corp in a regulatory filing over the weekend.

Read more: Exclusive: Ronan Keating sues Rupert Murdoch’s News UK in phone hacking claim

“My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions,” the letter said.

The exact nature of the disagreements was not disclosed, however Murdoch has previously criticised News Corp outlets, which include the Wall Street Journal, for their climate change coverage.

Earlier this year, the youngest Murdoch son and his wife Kathryn slammed coverage of the Australian wildfires by News Corp and Fox News, both owned by his father.

Their spokesperson told the Daily Beast they were “particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”

Australian-born Rupert Murdoch has previously described himself as a climate change “sceptic”.

The media heir has also diverged with his father across party lines. Rupert Murdoch has pledged support for US President Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential campaign, while James Murdoch has reportedly donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Joe Biden’s campaign.

The resignation will likely hand Rupert Murdoch’s other son, Lachlan Murdoch, more influence within News Corp, which owns British titles the Times, the Sun and the Sunday Times. 

James Murdoch, who previously served as the chief executive of 21st Century Fox from 2015 until it was sold to Disney,  has his own media ventures aside from his father’s empire. 

In October, he bought a small stake in liberal news brand Vice Media, while in August last year, he led a consortium of investors to buy a controlling stake in Tribeca Enterprises, which owns the Tribeca Film Festival.

Murdoch was dragged into the phone hacking scandal in 2011, while he was in charge of the family’s business across Europe, including the News of the World — the now defunct paper behind some of the hacks. 

Read more: Former BBC boss Mark Thompson steps down as New York Times chief

A parliamentary committee investigating the scandal slammed his “willful blindness” of phone hacking practices at the paper.

Murdoch soon relocated to New York to help run his father’s corporations, where he focused on the right-wing Fox television empire.

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