James Murdoch, the youngest son of billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch, resigned on Friday from the board of News Corp in a dramatic break from the family business.
In his brief resignation letter, James Murdoch said he was exiting the company over “disagreements over certain editorial content published” by its news outlets and “certain other strategic decisions.”
A spokesperson for James Murdoch said there would be no immediate further comment and that the letter spoke for itself.
In a joint statement, Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch said, “We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
James Murdoch, whose older brother Lachlan Murdoch serves as the head of Fox Corporation, had already left part of the media empire, due to his disgust of Fox News. The younger Murdoch has also previously expressed disagreement with his father’s conservative political views.
But he had remained on the board of News Corp — something that had intrigued friends of the family. His Friday resignation from News Corp represents the growing distance he has placed between his brother and father’s media businesses.
While he no longer serves on the boards of the family companies, however, he is still connected to the empire through the Murdoch Family Trust, which holds key voting shares in both companies.
The News Corp umbrella includes papers such as The Wall Street Journal and New York Post. It also includes the book publisher HarperCollins.
News Corp also owns a large chunk of Australia’s media, which was criticized earlier this year for its coverage of climate change as it related to the recent wildfires that swept through the country.
A spokesperson for James Murdoch said in January that he and his wife, Kathryn Murdoch, had “well established” views on climate change and were “particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”
This is a developing story…