Murdochs boost fortune by millions in sale expected to put thousands out of work

  • 29/09/2018
Rupert and James Murdoch.
Rupert and James Murdoch. Photo credit: Reuters

The Murdoch family is making out like bandits.

Rupert, Lachlan, and James Murdoch have been rewarded handsomely for their decision to sell large parts of their sprawling media empire to the Walt Disney Company in a deal valued at US$71.3 billion (NZ$107 billion).

All three family members earned massive raises on the eve of the merger's completion - a deal, it should be noted, that is expected to result in thousands of lost jobs.

Rupert Murdoch's compensation package swelled to US$49.2 million (NZ$74 million) in salary, bonuses, and other awards, according to public filings.

That was nearly double what he brought in during the previous year.

Murdoch serves as co-executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, a conglomerate that includes 20th Century Fox, FX, and NatGeo among its assets.

Lachlan Murdoch, the other executive chairman, also got a raise. His compensation soared to US$50.7 million (NZ$76.5 million), up more than double from 2017.

Both Lachlan and Rupert Murdoch will oversee the remaining parts of the family media conglomerate that are not going to Disney. These channels, which include Fox News and Fox broadcasting, are being reconstituted into a new company dubbed "new Fox".

James Murdoch, 21st Century Fox's CEO, will not be making the move along with his father and brother. But he got quite a sendoff. His total compensation climbed to US$50.3 million (NZ$76 million), an increase from the US$20.3 million he brought in during the prior year.

In a proxy filing, the company's directors justified their decision to reward the Murdoch clan with massive raises, writing that they were "critical to the completion" of the Disney deal and lauding them for delivering "strong company performance during a time of substantial change".