Rupert Murdoch, 88, recovering after pneumonia

Rupert Murdoch, the 88-year-old billionaire media mogul, is recovering after a bout with pneumonia, two people familiar with the matter told CNN Business. Full Credit: Jean Catuffe/GC Images/Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch, the 88-year-old billionaire media mogul, is recovering after a bout with pneumonia, two people familiar with the matter told CNN Business.

One of the people, a person close to Murdoch’s family, said the pneumonia occurred nearly three weeks ago. The second person and a third person familiar with the matter added that he had gone to a Los Angeles hospital. It is unclear whether he was admitted.

People who spoke to CNN Business all stressed that Murdoch was now doing well and that he was even making business calls to Fox News personnel.

Murdoch is also expected to call into a London board meeting on Friday, the person close to the family said.

Murdoch suffered a serious back injury in 2018 while vacationing on a yacht. He recovered, and people who have interacted recently with Murdoch have told CNN that he appeared to be in good health prior to the pneumonia.

Murdoch is one of the most powerful media moguls in the world. He is the chairman of Fox Corporation, and plays an active role overseeing Fox News. As executive chairman of News Corporation, Murdoch also oversees newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and The Sun.

But Murdoch’s influence in the industry has diminished as of late.

In July 2018, Murdoch struck a deal to sell off a large part of his media empire to Disney. In a $71 billion deal, Disney purchased most of 21st Century Fox.

The deal, which took effect earlier this year, meant that Murdoch presides over a smaller version of 21st Century Fox, known now as simply Fox Corporation. That includes Fox News, Fox Sports, and the Fox broadcast network.

Murdoch’s health is of keen interest to investors of both News Corporation and Fox Corporation. Even at 88 years old, he is widely seen as the driving force behind them, and his health issue comes at a precarious time, with Fox Corporation entering a new phase after the sale to Disney.

When Murdoch was hospitalized following his yachting accident, control of his empire became a pressing matter, The New York Times reported in April. His son, Lachlan Murdoch, ultimately won control of the slimmed-down Fox and currently serves as its executive chairman and chief executive.

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