Guardian: James Murdoch a 'dead man walking'

Comment by Michael Collins

Allow me to be perfectly candid. Rupert Murdoch is sacrificing his son’s reputation and future to hold onto power for just a few months longer. News Corporation shareholders are in full revolt over the liability created by shoddy management in the UK and the absurd political positioning and mischief in the United States (among other things). Murdoch is letting son James, formerly heir to the News Corporation throne, take the hits for the phone hacking scandal in the United Kingdom. Of greater significance, James is the patsy for the loss of the BSkyB acquisition (the remaining 61%, News Corp already owns 39%). This will likely cost News Corporation $40 billion in gross revenue over the next five years had the acquisition been approved. (Images: Hubert Burda Media, L, World Economic Forum)

The BSkyB acquisition was a cinch until the Guardian broke the phone hacking scandal on July 4, 2011. Within days, the three major parties agreed that the acquisition should be postponed for at least the duration of the slow-moving investigation established by Prime Minister David Cameron (a year, by the estimate of chairman, Lord Justice Levenson).

An objective analysis of the House of Commons committee hearings featuring father and son would have to feature Rupert’s memory lapses and his deferral to son James to fill in the details. It has been downhill for James since then. He had to defend positions that made no sense while father Rupert simply said he didn’t recall much. People close to Rupert Murdoch often repeat that he lives for one thing, his print properties Rupert knew what Rebekah Kelly was up to, no doubt, and he had to know about phone hacking. But it is James who is taking the fall.

Murdoch is a modern day Abraham (absent the command hallucinations) ready to eviscerate his son for just a few more months of power.


James Murdoch a ‘dead man walking’, T

Although News Corp has been performing well, the drip-drip of the phone-hacking scandal has taken its toll on the boss’s son

Forty-eight months ago, James Murdoch‘s eventual assumption of the top job at his father’s News Corporation seemed only a year or two away. But even his close allies now concede that he is unlikely to take over when Rupert Murdoch, 80, steps aside, after it emerged that a majority of the company’s non-family shareholders voted against his re-election to the board on Monday evening.

Chase Carey, the firm’s president who runs its Fox television and cable channels, and who won the support of 78% of independent investors and is now described as being “lined up” to take over eventually, as James Murdoch contends with the personal fall out from the phone-hacking crisis that closed the News of the World and shareholder vote that saw him win the backing of only 42% of non-family investors.

The disparity in voting demonstrates the popularity of Carey, who is well known among the firm’s Wall Street investors, while those close to the younger Murdoch say he will now have to spend “five years or whatever it takes” proving himself in the US before he can hope to run the business that his father built up when he inherited an Adelaide newspaper in the early 1950s.

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Michael Collins

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • …meeting reality. Especially for Jimmy baby…

    Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them,and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows,or with both~FDouglas

  • Rupert Murdoch is a perfect metaphor for his generation: willing to eat the seed corn and deprive its successors of education, health and infrastructure just to keep their taxes low until the day they die.

  • Dead man walking? Poor baby might have to find another job, or at the very least have a little less power or money? He sure won’t be going to jail, and even if he did, it would be a slap on the wrist.

  • Private eye Glenn Mulcaire’s notes point to evidence of systematic hacking at Murdoch company, inquiry hears

    The Guardian, By James Robinson, November 14

    The full scale of phone hacking at News International, Britain’s largest and most powerful newspaper group, finally began to emerge on Monday when the Leveson inquiry into press standards heard that 28 of the company’s staff are named in notes seized from a private investigator who specialised in the practice.

    On a dramatic opening day at the high court in London, Robert Jay QC, counsel for the inquiry, said evidence held by the Metropolitan police for five years showed “at least 27 other NI employees”, in addition to the former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman, appear in notes taken by Glenn Mulcaire.

    Goodman and Mulcaire were jailed for intercepting voicemails in January 2007.

    The suggestion that the identities of more than two dozen NI staff were scribbled in the margins of Mulcaire’s notes is the clearest indication yet that journalists at the company engaged in the practice systematically.

    “This fact alone suggests wide-ranging, illegal activity within the organisation at the relevant time,” Jay said.

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