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FB Roundup: Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, Andrew Forrest

FB Roundup: Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, Andrew Forrest
In this week’s FB Roundup, Rupert Murdoch hands control of Fox and News Corp to his son Lachlan; Michael Bloomberg reveals his succession plan; and Andrew Forrest pays tribute to his late father.
By Glen Ferris
Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch hands control of Fox and News Corp to his son Lachlan
Rupert Murdoch, the Australian-born media magnate whose often controversial business practices inspired the hit HBO TV show Succession, is stepping down as chair of Fox and News Corp and handing over the reins to his eldest son Lachlan.

“We thank him for his vision, his pioneering spirit, his steadfast determination, and the enduring legacy he leaves to the companies he founded and countless people he has impacted,” said Lachlan on his 92-year-old father’s “remarkable 70-year career”.

Lachlan will become the sole Chair of News Corp and will continue as executive Chair and Chief Executive of Fox Corporation, while his father assumes a new role as Chairman Emeritus.

“We have every reason to be optimistic about the coming years - I certainly am, and plan to be here to participate in them,” said Murdoch. “But the battle for freedom of speech and, ultimately, the freedom of thought, has never been more intense.

“Self-serving bureaucracies are seeking to silence those who are not members of their rarefied class. Most of the media is in cahoots with those elites, peddling political narratives rather than pursuing the truth.”

Having confirmed he is in “robust health” the senior Murdoch has vowed that he will be “watching our broadcasts with a critical eye, reading our newspapers and websites and books with much interest, and reaching out to you with thoughts, ideas and advice.”

After his father's death in 1952, Rupert Murdoch took over the running of Adelaide newspaper The News, before going on to acquire further Australian periodicals throughout the 1950s and 1960s. 

In 1969, he expanded into the United Kingdom, taking over the News Of The World, The Sun and The Times newspapers.

In 1974, he moved to the US where he became a naturalised citizen and, over the years, grew his media empire with the acquisition of Twentieth Century Fox, Fox News, HarperCollins, Sky and The Wall Street Journal.

Now, through his company News Corp, he is the owner of hundreds of local, national and international publishing outlets around the world, and has a net worth of $21.7 billion (according to Forbes magazine).

Murdoch has courted controversy over the years with, among other things, accusations of political bias, culminating in a high-profile defamation trial in which Fox Corporation was ordered to pay $787.5 million to the voting machine firm Dominion after airing baseless claims of voter fraud following Donald Trump’s 2020 election loss.

“I think that he has probably been the person who has held the most power and the most influence for the longest period of time during this era,” said Michael Wolff, a US journalist and author of books about the Murdoch dynasty, in an interview with Sky News. “He's held that power and that influence in three countries so we're talking (about) a totally unique force in the history of our time.”

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg reveals his succession plan
Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman and former mayor of New York, has revealed that he plans to retire in three to five years and will leave his eponymous company to his philanthropic foundation when he dies.

Speaking during a Climate Summit in New York, the 2020 Democratic candidate for President of the United States said that now he’s turned 81 years old it was “common sense” to have thought about next steps.

The founder and CEO of financial, software, data, and media company Bloomberg L.P (in which he holds a majority 88% stake) - who has two daughters, Emma and Georgina, with his ex-wife Susan Brown - has said that when he dies his Bloomberg Philanthropies foundation would inherit the company. 

“I give virtually all of the company's profits to the foundation, and the foundation gave away last year $1.7 billion,” said Bloomberg, who has a net worth of $96 billion (according to Forbes). “This year it will be a little bit more than that. But when I die, the foundation inherits the company. They, because of the tax laws, will have to get rid of it, sell it someplace or other over the first five years.”

Bloomberg, however, shows no signs of slowing down just yet as, according to The Mail Online, “he recently announced plans to invest a further $500 million into the next phase of his energy transition campaign, aiming to shut down 'every last' coal plant in the United States and slash gas-fired capacity in half by 2030.”

Bloomberg’s support of the Sierra Club's Beyond Carbon initiative aims to “finish the job on coal” by working hand-in-hand with government and local organisations to close the remaining 150 US coal plants still in operation. 

“By working with our partners across the country, we hope to transform the way we power America by moving beyond fossil fuels and replacing them with renewable energy,” said Bloomberg, who also acts as the United Nation’s Special Envoy on Climate Ambition and Solutions.

Andrew Forrest

Andrew Forrest pays tribute to his late father
Australian mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has led tributes following the passing of his father Donald Forrest, who has died aged 95.

Forrest, who has in recent years turned away from the fossil fuels that made his fortune towards a number of sustainable energy solutions, led a horseback guard of honour at the family cattle station in Western Australia.

“[Don] passed away peacefully in his sleep, knowing he was with people and places he loved,” said the family in a statement. “We all wish him well in his onward journey. He goes with the love, deep affection and enduring memories of all those whose lives his 95-year history has embraced. His legacy will be cherished by all who knew him.”

According to The National, “Forrest had previously referred to his father’s frail condition in late August this year as he celebrated the 20th anniversary of his Fortescue Metals Group with a party at the Solomon mining hub.” 

Donald Forrest is survived by his second wife Marie, three children, David, Jane and Andrew, and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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