Murdoch names son Lachlan as vice president of media empire

Media mogul says he is ‘very pleased’ his son is returning to leadership role at the company

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Rupert Murdoch said Wednesday he had promoted his son Lachlan to be vice president of the two companies that make up his media empire.

Those companies are News Corp. and the TV and film producer 21st Century Fox.

For years speculation had been rife over which of the six children of the 83-year-old magnate would take over for him.

Murdoch did not totally clarify his intentions, as he promoted another of his sons, James, 41, to be co-chief operating officer of 21st Century Fox.

Lachlan Murdoch, 42, had long been considered likely to take over for his father. But that expected scenario vanished when he abruptly left the group in 2005 when he had the job of deputy chief operating officer.

In a statement, Rupert Murdoch said of Lachlan, “I’m very pleased he is returning to a leadership role at the Company.”

Lachlan Murdoch will be non-executive co-chairman of News Corp and of 21st Century Fox.

But for now Murdoch himself remains chairman and chief executive officer of 21st Century Fox. He will also remain executive chairman of News Corp.

At News Corp the elder Murdoch can continue to rely on old news hand Robert Thomson, the CEO. Thomson used to be chief editor at the Times of London and held senior positions at the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones news wires.

Australian born Murdoch, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, has six children from three marriages.

Lachlan and James come from Murdoch's marriage to journalist Anna Torv. The third child from that marriage, Elisabeth, 45, sold her audio-visual production company Shine to her father’s company three years ago.

Last year Murdoch split up his media empire into two distinct companies, one specializing in the press and the other in audio-visual content.

Lachlan Murdoch’s appointment at News Corp, which must grapple with upheaval in the print press industry, should be seen as “a sign of confidence in the growth potential” of the firm, Murdoch’s statement said.

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