One Notable Thing About Murdoch's 'Retirement'

He never actually uses the word, points out media writer Jack Shafer, and it matters
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2023 9:02 AM CDT
One Notable Thing About Murdoch's 'Retirement'
Rupert Murdoch in a 2011 photo.   (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

In assessing the surprise news that Rupert Murdoch is giving up the reins at his media empire, Jack Shafer of Politico can't help but notice that Murdoch never actually uses the word "retirement" in his statement. In fact, the 92-year-old makes clear that he will continue to have a say in decisions as son Lachlan ostensibly takes command at News Corp. and Fox News. This should not be a surprise. "The idea that Murdoch would give up power before he dies defies everything we've learned about him," Shafer writes. "The idea that he would give up power even after he dies is equally preposterous."

It's within the context of that last point that the "retirement" announcement makes sense. The only way Murdoch's empire remains intact after his death is if his children agree it should, and, at the moment, that seems unlikely. "Perhaps Murdoch thinks he has enough time left to help Lachlan convince James, Elizabeth and Prudence that the eldest son has dad's chops and vision and should be allowed to pilot the craft," writes Shafer. The move, then, is more like a "trial balloon for the Lachlan Regency" than an actual retirement notice. In fact, Shafer wouldn't be surprised if the old man reverses course, as he has often done before. (Read the full piece.)

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