Lachlan Murdoch will assume his father’s media throne


Good morning, Quartz readers!

Here’s what you need to know

Rupert Murdoch retired from his media empire. His son Lachlan will take the reins of News Corp. and Fox Corp. amid a difficult year for Fox News (more on his departure below).

California proposed new rules for pricing house insurance. Regulators said companies can factor in climate change in a bid to keep fleeing insurers in state.

The Biden administration established the Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Headed by vice president Kamala Harris, part of its mandate is to help pass more state-level regulations on firearms.

Cisco bought the cybersecurity firm Splunk for $28 billion. More AI use means more potential security threats, and Cisco doesn’t want to take any chances.

One big number: 125 mph

High-speed rail service Brightline will launch a route today between Miami and Orlando that will see trains reach up to 125 mph (200 kph) on the 3.5-hour, 235-mile (378-kilometer) trip between Florida’s two biggest tourist destinations.

It’s quite the track switch for the US, which lags far behind countries like China, Japan, and Spain when it comes to getting people to places via high-speed train networks. Private funders are a big part of that push: Brightline’s $5 billion price tag is backed by Fortress Investment Group, which is hoping for 8 billion users annually.

But none of the US’s private high-speed rail projects could get off the ground without public funding. Quartz’s Julia Malleck explains.

Rupert Murdoch stepped down with a screed against “elites”

In his departure memo from the boards of Fox Corp. and News Corp., Murdoch had some thoughts to share, and, as to be expected, his words riffed on the same anti-liberal, anti-elite motifs on which he built his companies:

Murdoch: My father firmly believed in freedom, and Lachlan is absolutely committed to the cause. Self-serving bureaucracies are seeking to silence those who would question their provenance and purpose. Elites have open contempt for those who are not members of their rarefied class. Most of the media is in cahoots with those elites, peddling political narratives rather than pursuing the truth.

Quartz’s annotation: Murdoch frames his work as mission: He’s forever railing against enemies—real or imagined—who seek to bring him, his empire, and his political beliefs down. There’s no self-awareness that Murdoch the wealthy, Murdoch the powerful, Murdoch the political kingmaker, Murdoch the voice of conservatism, Murdoch the TV tycoon would certainly qualify as an elite.

That’s just part of the memo. Read it in its entirety, along with the rest of Scott Nover’s annotations.

Department of jargon: Luddite

🪡 Industrial-era clothworkers who were perhaps the first people to watch machines come for their jobs (but rather than let the machines change their livelihoods, the workers staged a clandestine rebellion)

In today’s popular culture, the word has been transposed onto individuals who prefer to be off the grid, or scoff at smartphones and screen time—the types that want absolutely nothing to do with AI. But as Gabriela Riccardi writes, the origin story of the Luddites can point the way through our new machine age.

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The year of our lord 2023 has something in common with 1940. A lot of young adults are living at home.

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Archaeologists think they found the world’s oldest wooden structure made by a human. The 476,000-year-old piece may have been used as part of a walkway or raised platform.

Want to wear a summer puffer jacket that cools you down when you put cold beer cans in its pockets? It’s a thing, but will it become a status symbol?

Our best wishes for a productive day. Send any news, comments, “Se Pone Caliente” remixes, and summer puffer jackets to cool us down to [email protected]. Reader support makes Quartz available to all—become a member. Today’s Daily Brief was brought to you by Morgan Haefner and Julia Malleck.


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