Rupert Murdoch’s son 'admits he is embarrassed by certain Fox News coverage'

The Murdochs are considering how to forge ahead in a dramatically changing media landscape

Clark Mindock
New York
Tuesday 02 January 2018 18:23 GMT
Mr Murdoch's youngest son has privately told people he is embarrassed by some of the coverage on Fox News
Mr Murdoch's youngest son has privately told people he is embarrassed by some of the coverage on Fox News (AP)

The youngest son of Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch has reportedly told people privately that he is embarrassed by some of the network’s coverage of issues like climate change, a New York Times report says.

The report indicates that James Murdoch, who became Chief Executive Officer of 21st Century Fox in 2015, holds more progressive views than his father or older brother, Lachlan Murdoch, and that those views have created friction within the family to some degree. The details came from individuals who are friendly with the Murdochs, though they had asked to remain anonymous to maintain close contact with the family.

The overall report details a family dynasty in flux, as Rupert Murdoch — who has built his influential empire at least in part by foreseeing where the media landscape would go next — considers how his company can survive in an increasingly competitive market with blustering newcomers like Netflix, Amazon, and Facebook attempting to make a place for themselves in programming that traditional media companies have dominated.

James Murdoch was thrust into the national spotlight last year when he wrote an email criticising President Donald Trump for his response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a woman was killed after a white supremacist drove his car through a gathering of peaceful protesters.

Mr Trump has a well-known appetite for watching Fox News, and regularly tweets about the coverage that he sees on the network.

The President also reportedly has a keen interest in making sure the network, which regularly covers his presidency in a positive light, does not change incredibly if it is told to Disney. Last month, according to the report, Mr Trump personally called Rupert Murdoch — who is executive chairman of 21st Century Fox — to make sure that a potential deal wasn’t going to change Fox News.

Mr Murdoch reportedly told the President that the sale wouldn’t change coverage.

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