Rupert Murdoch's son James quits News Corp objecting to editorial content, strategy

Saturday, August 01, 2020

Rupert Murdoch's son James has resigned from News Corp's board of directors, saying he disagreed with some of the editorial and strategic decisions made by the company.

News Corp is Rupert Murdoch's media giant that owns a number of companies around the world, including Australian outlets like The Australian, News.com.au and Foxtel.

James Murdoch had served on the board alongside his father and older brother Lachlan Murdoch.

"My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the company's news outlets and certain other strategic decisions," he wrote.

The resignation will take effect immediately.

In a statement provided by a News Corp spokesman, Rupert and Lachlan said: "We're grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors."

James had recently taken issue with News Corp's coverage of the summer of bushfires in Australia and climate change more generally.

In January, a spokesperson for James and his wife, Kathryn, told The Daily Beast that the pair's "frustration with some of News Corp and Fox's coverage of the topic is … well known".

"They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial of the role of climate change among the news outlets in Australia, given obvious evidence to the contrary," the spokesperson said.

At the time, News Corp's executive chairman defended the climate change coverage by The Australian, The Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun.

"Our coverage has recognised that Australia is having a serious conversation about climate change and how to respond to it," he said.

"However, it has also reflected there are a variety of views and opinions about the current fire crisis."

More than 280 journalists and staffers from the Wall Street Journal, one of News Corp's US papers, also recently sent a letter to the paper's publisher criticising the Opinion section, saying it published inaccuracies and undermined the paper with readers and sources.

James's more conservative-minded brother, Lachlan, is the heir apparent to their father and is also executive chairman and chief executive of Fox Corp, home to conservative US news network Fox News.

New York-based News Corp also owns the HarperCollins book publisher.-ABC/AP