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Rupert Murdoch to step down as Fox CEO

Rupert Murdoch will be resigning as head of media organization 21st Century Fox, with his son James to take over his position. The 84-year-old will remain executive chairman of the group.

Murdoch-operated news channel Fox News reported the announcement on its website on Thursday, confirming earlier reports made by television channel CNBC.

No timetable has been given for when Rupert Murdoch, one of the world's most powerful media moguls, might hand over the reins to youngest son James, currently the company's co-chief operation officer. His 43-year-old brother Lachlan will become executive co-chairman along with his father.

According to the network, cable channel Fox will continue to be run by president Roger Ailes "reporting directly to Rupert Murdoch." The organization includes the Fox Hollywood studios and several television outlets, including National Geographic and a stake in the Sky satellite service. Murdoch is also the executive chairman at News Corp., which covers publications such as the "Wall Street Journal" and publisher HarperCollins.

Murdoch has held the top job at 21st Century Fox since 1979, and became chairman in 1991. His began his media empire in his native Australia, which now stretches across the United States, Britain, Germany, Italy and India. He relocated to the United States, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1985.

In recent years his newspapers have suffered both financially and personally, with a phone-hacking scandal in the United Kingdom leading to the shutting-down of tabloid the "News of the World." In 2013 the News Corporation conglomerate was split, with newspapers and books going into one company, New News Corp, while the television and film businesses became 21st Century Fox.

The Murdoch family remains the majority shareholder in both organizations.

an/msh (AFP, AP, dpa)

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