Waystar Royco, the gigantic, rapacious, rear-facing, omnivorous, morally bankrupt media conglomerate that serves (with daddy’s coveted kiss) as the tumultuous prize being fought over by Roy’s various children on HBO Succession, is not based on any specific real-world company. But if it did, this company would probably be Rupert Murdochof News Corp., the small, healthy family business that owns large swathes of the world’s media businesses. (Not as much as before 2013, when Murdoch split the business in an alleged attempt to lose some of the heat from the UK phone hacking scandal, but still: Big.) Now, those parallels are becoming even more evident, thanks to a bit of clear dissent in the ranks, like Murdoch’s son, James – a longtime member of his father’s organization, even though he sometimes disagreed with his father’s more conservative leanings – resigned his post on the board of directors of the company due to “editorial disagreements” with some of his publications.
Said publications, it should be noted, do do not include Fox News, which operates under Fox Corporation, snapped off from News Corp. in the aforementioned parted ways and passed to James’ older brother, Lachlan, to run. (Lachlan himself is loaded with a fair amount of Roy vibes, too, given his much-publicized and abrupt departure from his father’s businesses in 2005, and returning to the fold to occupy the place of designated heir for a decade. later.) Fox Corporation itself is what remains of the Fox brand after selling most of 21st Century Fox to Disney (ending James Murdoch’s stint as CEO in the process.), and includes the Fox Network, as well as Fox Business, Fox Sports and Fox News. It’s entirely (or at least mostly; there’s a lot of overlapping Murdochs here) separate from News Corp, which James has now resigned from the board. He is apparently pissed off by some of the company’s print offerings, including The Wall Street Journal, Le New York Post, Harper Collins and a number of newspapers owned under the News Corp Australia brand.
In his resignation letter, Murdoch did not go into details beyond the line of ‘editorial disagreements’, although in the past he has issued statements of dissatisfaction with some of the publications’ positions on the change. climate. In any case, it’s the clearest signal possible that he is distancing himself from some of the Murdoch family’s top profile, leaving brother Lachlan and News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson (who managed to keep his post for years despite the critical absence of Rupert Murdoch’s DNA) to trace the various awkward trajectories of large companies in an ever more profitable future.