Paddy Manning explores the life of the potential future owner of Fox News in his new book The Successor: The High-Stakes Life of Lachlan Murdoch—and if Lachlan will even inherit the business in the first place.
The rise of Fox News and its creation by Rupert Murdoch is one of the most important media stories of the past 30 years. In that short time, the fledgling news channel has become the most popular news channel in the U.S. in addition to becoming one of its most infamous—with many of its critics dismissing it as a “hate-for-profit racket” that platforms virulent far-right voices.
With its 91-year-old founder facing the end of his career, the future of Fox News is in question as it is unclear what the network will look like in the hands of its potential inheritor Lachlan Murdoch, assuming he inherits it.
Backing up a Bit
Manning is a freelance investigative journalist and the previous author of Body Count: How Climate Change Is Killing Us and Inside the Greens: The Origins and Future of the Party, the People and the Politics.
This newest book explores “power, apprenticeship, and succession in the first family of media” in the life of Lachlan Murdock and questions his potential role in the Fox News media empire going forward.
Prior to the book’s release, Manning cited an interview with a Wall Street analyst that suggested that Lachlan may be ousted from control of Fox News shortly after his father’s death—believing that tension within the family may see controlling shares moved elsewhere.
The Guardian’s book review describes Manning’s portrait of Murdock as “open-minded,” “savvy,” and “egalitarian.”
Why it’s Important
“Despite a life in the spotlight, Lachlan’s personality, politics, and business acumen remain enigmatic. Is he the ultra-conservative ideologue media reports maintain, or a free-thinking libertarian, as some friends suggest?” says the publisher.
“After emerging victorious from the Murdoch family’s turbulent succession wars, Lachlan is stepping up at a time of unprecedented instability. What can we expect from his time at the helm, and does he have what it takes to chart a future for this century-old company? This is a book about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the global media world, and about America in the age of Trump and Murdoch.”
The Successor: The High-Stakes Life of Lachlan Murdoch was published on November 15, by Sutherland House Books.