James Murdoch has signalled plans to have "precisely zero" involvement in his family's remaining businesses following the sales of 21st Century Fox and Sky, in a historic split of the world's best-known media dynasty.
The comments to friends inform a new book, The Battle for Sky , which chronicles the rise of Britain's dominant pay-TV operator and the struggles of the Murdoch family to gain full control over it.
The book describes how James and his father Rupert Murdoch, now 88, quashed opposition from his elder brother Lachlan to break-up and cash in a global entertainment empire built over three decades.
Sky was sold to US cable giant Comcast in a £30bn auction last October, while Disney acquired most of 21st Century Fox in a $71bn (£56bn) merger that changed the shape of Hollywood as it comes under attack from Netflix and other tech giants. The sales triggered a $2bn payday for each of the Murdoch children and are expected to trigger James's departure from the family business.
He has made clear he opposes the populist politics of Fox News, which is now under Lachlan's control and the central asset of a "new Fox" in which he plays no part. James is for now still on the board of News Corp, publisher of The Sun, but is focused on Lupa Systems, a new investment vehicle.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post has reported that US President Donald Trump has never called Rupert Murdoch's Lachlan Murdoch.
The 47-year-old media scion, best known for being Rupert Murdoch's son and James Murdoch's older brother, is finally inheriting the mantle of chief executive of the family business. But while Trump and Rupert speak regularly, the President has not picked up the phone and dialled Lachlan.
Lachlan's emergence as leader of Fox Corp following the close of the Murdochs' $US71.3 billion ($100 billion) sale of 21st Century Fox to Disney, puts him on new, inherently political terrain that will test his talents as an executive and invite inevitable comparisons with his father.
Decades ago he was promised the mantle at Fox, but the company he will run is not what anyone expected, and disappointments have lined his path to this moment. Not only is Lachlan more distant from the White House than his hard-charging father, he will oversee a much smaller company – parent to Fox News, Fox Sports, Fox Entertainment, and Fox TV Stations.
Without its legacy film and television business, Fox Corp's most-high-profile division is Fox News, which is in a symbiotic relationship with the President of the United States. That relationship is already challenging Lachlan to deal with what one Hollywood executive called "the elephant in the room" for Fox – the toxic identity of Fox News in a mostly liberal entertainment industry.
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On the other side of the political spectrum, several Fox News staffers said they are distrustful of Lachlan's devotion to the cable news channel, and some call Lachlan "Fredo" behind his back, an unkind reference to a weak-willed son in The Godfather. The opinionated, conservative faction of the company that supports Trump is already testing his authority.
Rupert inherited two newspapers from his father in 1952 and built them into a global media juggernaut. "Lachlan is looking at it in a similar way," said Chris Silbermann, a friend of Lachlan's and a founding partner at ICM Partners, a talent and literary agency.
Lachlan, who is Rupert's eldest son, has ascended while paying close attention to his ageing father's needs. Almost above all else, he has tried to be a good son, say several people who know him well.
The Battle for Sky
includes a foreword by Mark Thompson, the former head of the BBC, who discusses his role in campaigning against the News Corp bid for Sky that was ultimately destroyed by the phone hacking scandal.