Arise, Prince Lachlan

News media United States of America Australia


Lachlan and James Murdoch’s appointments to senior positions could help sow the seeds of unrest in the Murdoch empire

WHEN prime minister Tony Abbott reintroduced knights and dames to Australian public life, the decision was met with amusement and derision. But a few days later, when the English-speaking world’s most powerful media mogul did something equally anachronistic, his announcement was treated almost as part of the natural order.

Rupert Murdoch, who six months ago lectured Australia on the need to become an “egalitarian meritocracy,” decreed that the next heads of his public companies would be determined by hereditary succession. His older son Lachlan would now be co-chair of 21st Century Fox and News Corp; his younger son James would be the co-CEO of 21st Century Fox (although he would continue to report to the other, incumbent chief executive, Chase Carey). In both cases, the “co” probably leaves present powers untouched, but it embeds Rupert’s desired succession plan…

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