Fox and News Corp shares surge as Rupert Murdoch steps down

Investing

Shares of both the Fox Corporation and News Corp jolted throughout the day Thursday following the companies’ announcement that longtime chairman Rupert Murdoch is stepping down, providing a rebound for the conservative-leaning news conglomerate.
21st Century Fox Sold To Walt Disney Co. For Over 70 Billion Dollars

The News Corp building on Sixth Avenue in New York City.

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Key Facts

Fox Corp., the parent company of Fox News and the Fox broadcasting network, shot up nearly 3.5% on the day Thursday to just over $32 per share, marking the company’s biggest single-day increase by percentage on Wall Street in six weeks.

Wall Street Journal and New York Post parent News Corp’s stock, meanwhile, jumped nearly 1.5% to just under $20 per share, the company’s biggest single-day increase in just over a month.

The boost in the media companies’ stock comes as Murdoch, 92, steps down as chairman of the companies, announcing plans to hand over the reins of News Corp to his 52-year-old son Lachlan Murdoch, the third-oldest of Rupert Murdoch’s six children, who has been serving as Fox Corp.’s CEO and executive chairman.

Forbes Valuation

We estimate Rupert Murdoch and his family are worth roughly $17.5 billion, making him the world’s 96th richest person.

Key Background

Murdoch has worked in media for decades, starting out as an Australian newspaper publisher before buying papers like The Times of London and the Wall Street Journal and entering the U.S. television market. In recent years, Rupert Murdoch’s tenure has been marked by booming Fox News ratings as a right-wing cable news outlet in direct competition with CNN, as well as major structural changes. In 2019, Murdoch oversaw the $71 billion sale of many of Fox’s TV and film assets to Disney, leaving Fox Corp. a smaller company but giving Murdoch a sizable stake in Disney.

More recently, Murdoch’s time at Fox has been marred by multiple controversies, including a phone hacking scandal that led to the shutdown of a British tabloid, and the company’s $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems in April, stemming from Fox News’ on-air segments peddling baseless claims of voting machine fraud.

Murdoch also faced a high-profile falling-out with former President and onetime Fox ally Donald Trump over what the former president has claimed to be unfair coverage, as well as court filings from the defamation suit revealing several Fox News hosts privately doubting Trump’s election fraud theories. In April, Fox let go of prime-time host Tucker Carlson just days after the settlement, after he reportedly went on angry rants about the network, with the former Fox host going on to broadcast a one-on-one interview with Trump at the same time as Fox News’ first GOP presidential debate.

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