A major change has come to the Fox News channel as one of the most prominent voices at the network has left.
James Murdoch, the 47-year-old younger son of Rupert Murdoch, the founder of Fox News, has stepped down from the board of directors, The Wall Street Journal reported.
He was the CEO of 21st Century Fox and has been on the board of directors since 2013, but cited editorial differences as his reason for leaving.
“My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions,” he said in a statement as part of a company filing on Friday.
Mr. Murdoch had once been widely viewed as the top contender to one day run the family businesses, but in recent years he has been disengaging from his roles at the companies. Last year, he left as chief executive of 21st Century Fox after substantial parts of the company’s entertainment unit were sold to Walt Disney Co.
The News Corp board seat was the last formal role he held at companies controlled by his family.
A spokesman for Mr. Murdoch said he had no additional comment beyond his letter.
Earlier this year, as wildfires raged in his family’s native Australia, James Murdoch publicly criticized coverage of climate change in News Corp’s newspapers and on Fox Corp’s Fox News.
“We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavors,” Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch said in a joint statement.
James has expressed his concerns about his dad’s network before, including the network’s coverage of the Australian bush fires.
“Kathryn and James’s views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known.
“They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary,” he and his wife Kathryn said in January.
And in an interview with The New Yorker last year James also showed a break from his family’s business.
“There are views I really disagree with on Fox,” the younger son said. “But I wouldn’t cast it as some reaction to that.” He is also backing a program at the Center for New American Security, a bipartisan think tank. The aim of the program, called Countering High-Tech Illiberalism, as it’s described on the Web site for the Quadrivium foundation, founded by James and his wife, Kathryn, is “to craft effective, practical, actionable, and ambitious policies domestically and abroad” that impair illiberal populism, such as fighting disinformation and electoral interference.
“But this is not just a Trumpian problem,” he said. “Generally, Western liberalism is up against an enormous amount of opposition everywhere.”