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Rupert Murdoch steps down as Fox and News Corp. chairman

Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as chairman of Fox Corp. (Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters via CNN)

New York (CNN) — Rupert Murdoch announced Thursday that he will step down as chairman of Fox Corporation and News Corp.

“For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change,” Murdoch wrote in a memo to employees. “But the time is right for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams.”

His son, Lachlan Murdoch, will become sole chairman of both companies. Rupert Murdoch called his son “a passionate, principled leader.”

The 92-year-old media mogul, who got into the newspaper business in the 1950s, became a major Hollywood executive in 1985 when he purchased Twentieth Century Fox from oilman Marvin Davis for $600 million. In 1986, Murdoch got into the TV business after he purchased several US television stations and created Fox Broadcasting.

Fox News launched in 1996 as a startup competitor to CNN. It eventually became the No. 1 cable news channel in America.