NEW YORK, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as the chairman of Fox and News Corp after a seven-decade career of building one of the world's most influential and controversial media empire.
Murdoch, 92, will become chairman emeritus at both companies, effective at board meetings in November, Fox announced Thursday.
His eldest son, Lachlan Murdoch, who has served as co-chair of News Corp, will become sole chair of that company and continue as chief executive officer of Fox.
"For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change. But the time is right for me to take on different roles," the media mogul wrote in a letter to staff.
Murdoch started his global media empire with a single newspaper in Adelaide, Australia, at the age of 21, inherited from his father.
In addition to conservative Fox News network, which has reshaped current U.S. cable news and influenced the nation's politics, Murdoch is owner of The Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Sun, New York Post, and other publications.
He has also built up pay-TV giant Sky in Britain and controlled the Hollywood studio which has produced "Avatar" and "Titanic."
Forbes estimated the Murdoch family's net worth at roughly 19 billion U.S. dollars in 2020.
His empire has suffered a series of blows in recent months. In April, Fox was forced to pay 787 million dollars to settle a defamation lawsuit related to its coverage of false claims on the 2020 presidential election, and later fired its most popular host Tucker Carlson.
"Murdoch is one of a handful of media barons, along with the likes of John Malone, Ted Turner and Sumner Redstone, who shaped the modern era of media," The Wall Street Journal commented. "He has wielded influence in political and financial capitals, earning credit from his boosters and blame from his critics."