Grab the popcorn, the Murdoch dynasty is falling apart


Grab the popcorn, the Murdoch dynasty is falling apart

By spurning News Corp, James has gone up against dad – and the family. But it’s just one of many schisms

Chris Williams

The biggest surprise in James Murdoch’s departure from the board of News Corp is that it took him so long.

In May 2019, after the sale of most of the Murdoch television and film assets to Disney and his receipt of a $2bn cut, he planned to take “precisely zero” interest in what remains of the family business. His curt resignation, citing “disagreements over certain editorial content”, is confirmation of a permanent schism in the dynasty.

The most significant of those disagreements has been conducted in public. Earlier in 2020, James complained about the coverage of the devastating Australian wildfires by News Corp outlets. Newspaper columns had labelled suggestions of a link to climate change “silly” and “hysterical”, in line with 89-year-old Rupert Murdoch’s long-standing views. James and his wife Kathryn declared they were “disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary”...

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