Rupert Murdoch stepping down from 21st Century Fox

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NEW YORK — Rupert Murdoch, one of the world’s most influential media executives, is planning to step down as CEO of 21st Century Fox, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Murdoch, 84, is expected to hand over day-to-day responsibility for the media empire to his son James, but he will remain executive chairman. One of the sources described the transition as a “title change,” with the elder Murdoch still having the final say.

But it’s a title change decades in the making with wide-reaching consequences for the media industry.

One of Murdoch’s other sons, Lachlan, will be co-executive chairman along with his father.

The changes will be made official at a 21st Century Fox board meeting next week. It is unclear when the changes will take effect.

The succession plan was first reported by CNBC.

Chase Carey, the president and chief operating officer of 21st Century Fox, will leave those posts, but will remain an adviser. Carey signed a two-year contract last June.

James Murdoch stepped down as head of BSkyB after he became ensnared in a hacking scandal that rocked the Murdoch’s British newspapers. After his father’s empire was split into two companies, News Corp. and 21st Century Fox, James was promoted to COO of 21st Century Fox.

The two companies are comprised of different types of media properties. News Corp.’s business is largely in publishing, with companies such as the New York Post and HarperCollins in its portfolio. 21st Century Fox is in the film and broadcasting business with holdings such as Fox News Channel and a host of Fox movie studios.

Rupert Murdoch’s lucrative career spans several decades, beginning in the 1950s when he took over a company in his native Australia that owned a single daily newspaper. In the years that followed, the company acquired more newspapers in Australia and the UK. By the 1980s, News Corp. acquired The Times and Sunday Times, as well as HarperCollins.