“If he does make some changes, I don’t think they will be good ones,” a source says of Lachlan
With the announcement that control of Rupert Murdoch's conservative media empire will soon be passed down to his elder son, Lachlan Murdoch, many are wondering if — or how — Fox News might change. Some sources — including those close to Donald Trump — say the changes will be minimal at best, while others say the younger Murdoch might welcome the former president back into the fold.
On Thursday morning, Fox News announced that Rupert, 92, had made the decision to step down as chairman of Fox Corp and News Corp — a move that will take effect in November, at which point he will transfer his authority to Lachlan, 52, while he assumes an honorary "chairman emeritus" status.
A plugged-in political source tells PEOPLE that Lachlan, as the new CEO, likely won't make any "major changes."
“If he does make some changes, I don’t think they will be good ones,” the source continues.
The source alleges that, while Lachlan has been pegged as less traditionally conservative than his father, the heir to the media empire has supported Fox News even when the network "was basically supporting Trump" for president in the lead-up to the 2016 election.
Lachlan's brother, James — once thought to be a potential successor to News Corp and Fox Corp — has allegedly been less than pleased by the network's coverage of Trump. But not Lachlan — at least, not openly.
”Lachlan wanted to stay on when Fox was basically supporting Trump,” the source says. “His brother James left but Lachlan advocated his ticket to stay.”
Lachlan's takeover comes in the wake of a well-reported $1.6 billion lawsuit brought against Fox News by voting equipment company Dominion Voting Systems, which was the subject of conspiracies of widespread election fraud and other wrongdoing in the wake of the November 2020 presidential election.
The voting company settled with the network in 2023, but not before text messages and emails showed that many staffers and even on-air network personalities didn't believe Trump's claims that the election had been "stolen" from him — still, many reported the claims as if they were true.
While Trump has historically been a proponent of the network, he publicly turned his back on Fox News after the network accurately called the 2020 election for Joe Biden.
Another source tells PEOPLE that Lachlan "has had trouble with Trump's antics" in the past, adding: "It will be fun to see if Fox reunites with Trump in coming months. I doubt it, but it’s not impossible that he could go all out for Trump now.”
And despite his father's public retirement, the source believes that “Rupert will still be dictating” while Lachlan is publicly perched atop the throne of the media empire.
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In any case, the source says, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
“I have a feeling that with Lachlan leading and Rupert still around that Trump could come back to Fox. Lachlan is more conservative than his dad," the source says, adding that Lachlan "loves being on top," and could potentially "make Fox more conservative in his own vein — if this is even possible.”
Still, another political source in the Trump camp doesn’t see major changes ahead for Fox News.
“As long as Rupert is there, I don’t see Lachlan making major changes anywhere in the company,” they tell PEOPLE. “It could change when Rupert dies because the fate of the company would not only be left to Lachlan.”
Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax (a direct competitor of Fox News), tells PEOPLE, “Lachlan is very conservative yet more libertarian than his father. Lachlan is not a traditional Reagan or Trump Republican.”
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