On Thursday morning, as Fox News announced Mr Murdoch’s retirement, anchor Bill Hemmer said: “Rupert Murdoch created all of this and so much more across America and the globe.”
“His life’s work has left an indelible imprint on the global media landscape. His contributions are both innumerable and extraordinary and we thank him for letting us be a part of it all,” he added.
Anchor Dana Perino, who served as President George W Bush’s White House press secretary between 2007 and 2009, added: “Without him, we would not be here.”
“Our boss Rupert Murdoch is transitioning from Chair of our parent company, Fox Corporation, and in a note to employees today he says he's decided that in November he will move to the role of chairman emeritus of both Fox and Fox Corp,” Mr Hemmer said. “He says going forward his son Lachlan will be the sole Chair of both companies.”
The anchor went on to quote Mr Murdoch’s son Lachlan, who thanked his father for “his vision and his pioneering spirit, his steadfast determination and the enduring legacy he leaves, the companies he founded, and countless people he has impacted”.
“The point about his being in robust health and robust with ideas – we can attest to that,” Ms Perino said.
Here's how Fox News announced the news about Rupert Murdoch pic.twitter.com/eSSYslHg50
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) September 21, 2023
Journalist Kara Swisher slammed the Fox News announcement, tweeting: “Besides the expected obsequious suck-uppery here (and this guy has a really strong suction game), I was struck by the need to add ‘robust health’ to this statement about Murdoch. It has a ‘leaving to spend time with the family’ feel.”
NPR TV critic and media analyst Eric Deggans said it was “it’s like watching an announcement on State TV in North Korea”.
ABC News Senior National Correspondent Terry Moran said: “Modern corporate media around the world has been transformed by the career of Rupert Murdoch. And beyond that one industry, his influence is everywhere: politics, celebrity culture, the coarsening of public discourse, the weakening of democracy—we live in Murdoch’s world.”
David Karol, a government and politics professor at the University of Maryland, asked: “Who did more to slow efforts to fight climate change, and not just in the U.S? No Murdoch, maybe no Brexit & no Trump. While he tried ineffectually to block DJT a couple of times, he did much to create the context in which Trump thrives.”
“With his decades-long impact in Australia, the UK, and the U.S. there is a real case that Murdoch has been a more consequential figure than Trump,” he added. “Without Murdoch, a President Trump is less likely too, even if he wasn’t always for him and Trump is now beyond his control.”