Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is in the hospital riddled with a back injury after falling victim to a sailing accident in the Caribbean just after ringing in the new year.
The 86-year-old executive who founded a global media empire was reportedly picked up from the boat using a helicopter. Murdoch was then taken to a hospital in Los Angeles where he stayed to recover until recently.
A source told Vanity Fair that the executive informed senior management of his accident last Friday via email.
"I hope you all are having a great start to 2018. I suspect it has been better than mine."
"I am writing to tell you that last week I had a sailing accident and suffered a painful back injury," he continues. "While I am well on the road to recovery, I have to work from home for some weeks. In the meantime, you'll be hearing from me by email, phone and text!"
A spokesperson from 21st Century Fox declined to speak up on the incident and Murdoch's current condition.
End Of An Era: Disney Set To Take Control Of Fox Assets
Murdoch's injury comes at a time that the family empire is transitioning into a deal that gives their previous rival Walt Disney the rights to studio and television business 21st Century Fox. According to The Guardian, this landmark deal is worth $66 billion, an impressive addition even to the billion-dollar empire. Part of the deal gives the Murdoch family a significant 4.25 percent stake in Disney.
21st Century Fox is a major piece in one of the world's biggest media companies responsible for many iconic productions such as Titanic, Avatar, and The Simpsons. However, the Murdochs will not be giving up their entire empire just yet. The family is said to be keeping Fox News, Fox Sports, Fox Business, the Fox television network, and regional stations in the United States. News Corp, which is separately listed and publishes major broadsheets such as Wall Street Journal and New York Post, will also remain in Murdoch's control.
Many are shocked by the potential sale, but an anonymous source who formerly worked as a senior Murdoch lieutenant reveals that the evolving business and media model is the reason behind it.
"It makes sense on so many levels," he explains. "With the exception of movies, all of these businesses are monetizing content through advertising, and that business model no longer works. The Murdochs have realized that the subscription businesses are going to kill them."