Monday, April 9, 2012

James Murdoch: The Rise and Fall

James Murdoch has stepped down as executive
chairman of News International.
(photo: David Moir/Reuters)
By Michael Wolff, Guardian UK
08 April 12

As a story, it has everything: dynastic succession, Oedipal conflict, vaulting ambition, hubris, crisis, catastrophe … read on.

n Tuesday, James Murdoch gave up his last claim to BSkyB, the company that most defined him. He had not wanted to leave his job as CEO of the company in 2008, when his father first got the idea that James should instead run the Asian and European operations of News Corp. At BSkyB, only 39% owned by News Corp, James was at a distance from News Corp politics, and, more importantly, from his father's incessant interference.

What's more, BSkyB had made James. At 36, he was running a vast, successful, and rapidly growing media company. The business world had noticed.

But his father had just bought the Wall Street Journal and was moving the long-time head of the company's British subsidiary, News International, and family retainer, Les Hinton, to New York to run it. Rebekah Brooks, the editor of the Sun and herself a family favorite, was scheduled to take over Hinton's job, but Murdoch was not sure she was seasoned enough. He need someone he could trust - not least of all because, at 78, he wanted to travel a lot less and concentrate his attention on his pride and joy, the WSJ.
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