James Murdoch Gives Up Role at British Unit

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Offline Grace

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James Murdoch Gives Up Role at British Unit

  • on: March 05, 2012, 01:42:36 PM

February 29, 2012
James Murdoch Gives Up Role at British Unit

By JOHN F. BURNS and AMY CHOZICK  LONDON —

After months of deeply uncomfortable scrutiny, James Murdoch resigned on Wednesday as head of his father’s scandal-ridden newspaper properties in Britain. He said he would now concentrate on the company’s lucrative international television properties, working from the New York headquarters of News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch’s global media conglomerate.
       
 The announcement that the younger Mr. Murdoch, 39, had quit as executive chairman of News International, the British newspaper subsidiary of News Corp., came at a moment of intensifying pressure on the Murdoch-owned tabloids at the center of the scandal, The Sun and the now-defunct News of the World. The papers’ reporters, editors and corporate executives, including James Murdoch, have been at the center of overlapping investigations by the police, Parliament and a judicial inquiry into a pattern of widespread phone hacking and payoffs to police and other public officials acting as sources for stories. 
     
 A statement by News Corp. depicted James Murdoch’s transfer to the New York headquarters as a routine step that company insiders say was first ordered by his father 18 months ago. In effect, they said, he had already abandoned his London office for New York. Rather than a punishment, they sought to portray the move as an enlargement of his responsibilities for News Corp.’s international television holdings, a field in which he has won plaudits as profits have soared in the British, European and Asian operations he has overseen for the past decade. 
     
 The announcement said that he would continue as News Corp.’s deputy chief operating officer, and that oversight of the British newspapers would be taken up by Tom Mockridge, chief executive of News International, who would report to News Corp.’s president and chief operating officer, Chase Carey.       
 But the company’s bid to present the changes as a routine reshuffle ran into a wall of skepticism on both sides of the Atlantic, with some critics saying that Rupert Murdoch, who is 80, was trying to protect his son at the expense of News Corp.       

 “Today’s announcement is designed to protect him and give him a fresh start in New York,” said Michael Pryce-Jones, a spokesman for the CtW Investment Group, a shareholder activist group based in Washington that works with pension funds for large labor unions like the Teamsters and United Farm Workers. “Everyone else involved in the scandal has been thrown under the bus, but James Murdoch is being protected.”       
 But other analysts said it was unlikely that James would escape the legal problems no matter where he lives or works.       

 “You could put him in any division, and there’s no way he escapes the implications if he was involved” in hacking and bribery at the British newspapers, said David Bank, a media analyst at RBC Capital Markets.
 Mr. Murdoch’s effort to limit the damage comes at a time when the scandal seems more likely to worsen than to relent. Scotland Yard’s chief investigative officer in the case said Monday that “people at a very senior level within” The Sun had authorized hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to “a network of corrupted officials” in the British police, armed forces and government. 
     
 It was the most serious allegation yet made against the Murdoch papers, and one that appeared virtually certain to presage high-ranking prosecutions.       
 James Murdoch has not been questioned by the police in the scandals, which have seen at least 30 individuals linked to The Sun and News of the World arrested, questioned for up to 10 hours and released on bail. He has denied any role in the wrongdoing, rejecting as false the testimony of high-ranking colleagues in the British newspaper operations that he was told as early as 2008 of widespread phone hacking by News of the World.       
 In the case of one damaging e-mail sent to him in 2008 by Colin Myler, then News of the World’s editor, that contained explosive information about the extent of the phone hacking, Mr. Murdoch has said that he failed to grasp the message’s significance because he did not read all of the e-mail chain that came with it.
       
 The announcement of James Murdoch’s removal from the British newspaper operations came after Rupert Murdoch decided to take temporary charge of the British newspapers himself, according to a News International executive who spoke off the record because of the confidential nature of the discussions that led to the move. The executive said that Mr. Murdoch was “in his element” when personally involved in running the newspapers, and reveling in the start-up of a Sunday edition of The Sun, Britain’s highest-circulated newspaper, which he oversaw over the weekend. 
     
 Mr. Bank, the media analyst, said that Mr. Murdoch was intent on finding a way to put the scandals in the past. “Rupert Murdoch is trying to change the narrative and move on,” he said. “The further he gets away from the legal issues in the U.K. the more he’ll get his autonomy back.”

 In the News Corp. announcement, Rupert Murdoch emphasized that James Murdoch would be overseeing “essential” properties, especially in the company’s pay-for-view international television operations like Britain’s BSkyB, other Sky franchises across Europe and Star TV in Asia. He also seemed to offer a glancing defense of his son’s role in the tabloid scandals by saying that he had made “lasting contributions” in his “efforts to improve and enhance governance programs” at News International and the TV operations.       

 James Murdoch, too, seemed to claim credit for helping to clear up the British scandals by saying in the company announcement that with the start-up of The Sun on Sunday and “new business practices in place across all titles, News International is now in a strong position to build on its successes in the future.” In addition to The Sun, the Murdoch newspapers in Britain include the up-market Times and Sunday Times.     
   
 But the reaction among many of those who have taken a lead in demanding public accountability for the Murdoch tabloids’ excesses was harsh. John Whittingdale, chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Culture, Media and Sport that twice questioned James Murdoch last year, said in a BBC interview that “even if he wasn’t aware of the details” or scale of the phone hacking, as the younger Murdoch testified, he had become a liability to the company’s operations in Britain.   
     
 “If News International wanted to move on from this problem, and start afresh, James Murdoch’s presence was clearly going to be a problem for them,” he said.       
 Even if not acknowledged as a demotion, the shift of the younger Murdoch and his effective replacement by his father appeared to many of News Corp.’s critics to signal that James Murdoch was no longer considered the likely heir to the throne of News Corp. Until the British scandals erupted, he had held that role, succeeding his older brother, Lachlan, 40, who had a bitter falling out with his father and other executives in 2005, quitting New York to return to an executive job with the company in Australia.       

 Two weeks ago, Rupert Murdoch appeared to signal that Lachlan was back in favor by making a dramatic visit to The Sun newsroom in the East London district of Wapping in the company of Lachlan, with James nowhere in sight.       
 People familiar with the dynamics of the Murdoch family have said in recent months that Elisabeth Murdoch, sister of Lachlan and James, has been urging her father to remove James from all executive authority because of what she has described, often openly at London dinner parties, as James’s incompetence and arrogance in his handling of the tabloid scandals.       

 Along with the reputational damage to News Corp., Murdoch family members are also said by people who know them to be increasingly disturbed by the mounting financial costs of the British scandals, which some media analysts believe could run as high as $1 billion, when compensation and legal costs for the victims are factored in.       

  John F. Burns reported from London and Amy Chozick from New York. Alan Cowell and Julia Werdigier contributed reporting from London, and Ravi Somaiya from Stockholm.
   http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/world/europe/james-murdoch-gives-up-role-at-british-unit.html
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 01:47:11 PM by Grace »
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Offline Grace

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Re: James Murdoch Gives Up Role at British Unit

  • on: March 05, 2012, 01:50:41 PM
James Murdoch stepping out of British print business is subsequently happening after this:

Quote
Transcript BY LIAM KEEGAN
 ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN
 
 
 News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has promised a Sunday edition of his scandal-hit tabloid, The Sun. Sky News has part of the email Murdoch sent to Sun staffers on Friday.
 
 “We will build on The Sun’s proud heritage by launching The Sun on Sunday very soon. Our duty is to expand on of the world’s most widely read newspapers and and reach even more people than ever before.”
 
 Murdoch’s move is seen in the media as an attempt to reassure staff members who are angry that News Corp. gave police information that led to the arrest of a handful of Sun journalists. They’re being investigated for possible illegal payoffs to public officials.
 
 But now— they can go back to work.  Michael Wolff — who wrote a biography on Murdoch — tells Bloomberg the move sends the message that the media mogul isn’t ready to give up on the Sun, a paper he’s owned since 1969.
 
 "Rupert is very much alone. His American executives, to be perfectly honest, would rather the Sun not exist.”
 
 But media analyst Steve Hewlett tells BBC— even if U.S. execs want to dump The Sun, now is not the time to do it. 
 
 “At the moment, you couldn’t sell the Sun if you tried, because you’d be selling the problems that News Corporation is itself exposing, in terms of what its standards committee is finding, you’d be selling those problems to any new owner.”
 
 Finally— Guardian blogger Roy Greenslade says regardless of whether Murdoch’s entire team is on board with The Sun expansion, the bold move is management-genius.
 
 “Rupert Murdoch looked as if he had no hand to play. But the old gambler came up trumps by producing a couple of surprise cards from his sleeve... for the moment, Murdoch has succeeded in preventing a mutiny. That is some achievement in itself.”

http://www.newsy.com/videos/murdoch-expands-sun-tabloid/


What a defeat for Rupert Murdoch that his son doesn't join this "we will reach more readers than ever" approach.

Put a ticket of $$$ out to RM and split the family.
Another Titanic is sinking before our faces.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 01:52:25 PM by Grace »
Create your day. Create the most astounding year of your life. Be the change you want to see in the world! L.O.V.E.
***********************************************************************************************
"I am tired, I am really tired of manipulation." Michael Jackson, Harlem, New York, NY, July 6, 2002
***********************************************************************************************
******* Let's tear the walls in the brains of this world down.*******

Time to BE.

Offline SimPattyK

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Re: James Murdoch Gives Up Role at British Unit

  • on: March 05, 2012, 04:54:49 PM
Grace thank you for posting this ^^

I am so glad when I see one of these bastards going down!!

I can "smell" Mr. V's revenge! just like in that movie!!

I can "smell" the perfume of Vendetta! and ohh it smells so good! I am so happy for Michael !
He must be jubilating right now!


No wonder Paris has that avatar on twitter!!
« Last Edit: March 05, 2012, 04:56:57 PM by SimPattyK »

 

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