James Murdoch resigns as News International chairman

Written on:March 1, 2024
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In a rather unexpected turn of events, James Murdoch stepped down as the executive chairman of scandal-hit News International, creating a ripple of conjectures as to what prompted the junior Murdoch to make the move.

While some analysts say the resignation might signal the ascension to the throne of Lachlan or Elisabeth Murdoch as the new supremo of News Corp., some still question the move saying that it dealt a decisive blow to his own chances of succeeding his father as the top boss of the organization.

Those who have been closely tracking the development at News International suggested that Rupert Murdoch might have played a shrewd move by removing his son from the UK-based operations and bringing him closer to New York.

This speculation has somewhat been supported by the recent launch of the Sunday edition of The Sun – a move that many think to be a counter-intuitive one, despite the ongoing Leveson Inquiry (link to the General News article of Feb 28) into the tabloid’s alleged association with corruption.

According to English media analyst Steve Hewlett, the resignation is not out of the blue because it “makes sense to get James as far away from News International as possible, if he is to have any hope of re-establishing his position in the company.”

Before the junior Murdoch assumed power at News International, the agency had come under intense media focus and widespread criticism for a phone-tapping scandal. The way James tackled the aftermath of the situation was “unimpressive at best”, a News International staff said on condition of anonymity, adding: “We won’t miss him”.

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