NEW YORK (AP) - Rupert Murdoch is preparing to hand over the chief executive officer role at Twenty-First Century Fox Inc. to his son, James, the company's news channel Fox News reported Thursday.
Rupert Murdoch, 84, one of the world's most powerful media barons, remains the chairman and controlling shareholder of the company behind Fox News Channel, Fox broadcast network and the 20th Century Fox movie studio, through a family trust that owns shares. He has been CEO since 1979 and chairman since 1991.
Fox News reported the pending move on its website Thursday, attributing the announcement to Rupert Murdoch. CNBC first reported the story based on sources who requested anonymity.
James Murdoch, 42, is the company's co-chief operating officer. His brother Lachlan, 43, currently non-executive co-chairman at Fox, will become executive co-chairman along with his father, according to Fox's story.
Spokespeople for 21st Century Fox did not respond to several requests by The Associated Press for comment.
Rupert Murdoch's company started with a single newspaper in his native Australia. He grew it across many media platforms in Britain, the U.S., Germany, Italy and India.
By creating the Fox network in the U.S., he shook up broadcast television. Then he tackled cable TV with Fox News.
But his newspapers have had a harder time. A phone hacking scandal in the U.K. stung the company. Under pressure from investors, he split the original News Corp. into print and entertainment companies in 2013.
Rupert Murdoch is also the executive chairman at News Corp., the company that now contains The Wall Street Journal and New York Post newspapers and book publisher HarperCollins.
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