Business

James Murdoch quits NI

JAMES Murdoch severed ties with his father's stable of British newspapers yesterday as he resigned from News International following fresh revelations of a corporate cover-up of the companyis involvement in phone hacking and bribery of public officials.

Mr Murdoch gave up his position as executive chairman of NI only two days after a senior police officer gave evidence that the news organisation presided over a 'culture of illegal payments' at The Sun.

The Leveson Inquiry into media standards also heard on Monday that NI's chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, was being privately briefed by Scotland Yard on its original phone-hacking inquiry into NI when she was editor of The Sun in 2006.

Ms Brooks, James Murdoch's immediate deputy before her resignation last summer, has been arrested and questioned by detectives working on the inquiries into hacking and bribery.

Yesterday's resignation means that James Murdoch no longer has a responsibility for the company amid growing expectation of an investigation by American authorities into the illicit practices of News Corp's British subsidiary.

James Murdoch, who remains as News Corp's deputy chief operating officer, will continue to have responsibility for international businesses including Star TV, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia and BSkyB.

Rupert Murdoch said of his son in a statement: "We are all grateful for James's leadership at News International and across Europe and Asia, where he has made lasting contributions to the group's strategy in paid digital content and its efforts to improve and enhance governance programmes."

James Murdoch has had limited involvement in NI, which also publishes The Times and The Sunday Times, since he was promoted to a New York-based role in March last year.

One well-placed source compared that move to 'an SAS operation to remove a hostage from a vulnerable situation'.

Since then, James Murdoch was recalled to give evidence last July before a parliamentary committee on phone hacking, when he told MPs there were 'no immediate plans' to create a Sunday edition of The Sun in place of the News of the World.

When Rupert Murdoch flew to Britain to oversee last Sunday's launch of a new edition of The Sun, he pointedly left James behind and took his elder son, Lachlan, on a morale-boosting tour of the paper's newsroom.

In his own statement yesterday, James Murdoch linked the birth of the new paper to his departure.

"With the successful launch 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," he said.

Since reopening its investigation into NI, Scotland Yard has arrested two dozen former and current members of NI staff.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers told the Leveson Inquiry on Monday that the company financed a 'network of corrupted officials'.

One former NI executive said last night: "The real story here is the cover-up and conspiracy that News International could be culpable of."

The resignation of James Murdoch does not mean he will avoid Britain in future.

As chairman of BSkyB he will attend board meetings of the satellite broadcaster and he retains an office at its headquarters in Isleworth, west London.

The media analyst Douglas McCabe, of Enders Analysis, highlighted Mr Murdochis talents as a television executive and said he would be 'relieved' to concentrate on what he does best.

"It is about distancing him from News International and from problems at The Sun but he maintains his wider roles," he said.

"Within the broader context you have to remember that newspapers are a relatively small part of revenue and profits within News Corp as a whole."

Since succeeding Ms Brooks as chief executive of NI last summer, Tom Mockridge, a News Corp veteran, has tried to cleanse the company's reputation at its headquarters in Wapping, east London.

Topics:  james murdoch rupert murdoch



Super school parking plan will cause chaos: Councillor warns

An artist's impression of the new Ballina high school.

Traffic congestion imminent in Ballina CBD if changes aren't made

WATCH: Extreme idiocy on Lismore roads

This P plater was caught on dashcam going at ridiculous speeds.

Not once but twice, an L-plater had to endure shocking driving

GALLERY: Retired truckie gutted by damage to retro van

Tony Baker is calling for public help in identifying the vandals who destroyed his van.

"A little bit of pride in your town doesn't go astray"

Local Partners

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

AN IRATE Steve Price has threatened to quit I'm A Celebrity after a series of drama-filled clashes with Keira Maguire.

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

Neil Finn to headline Bluesfest

Neil Finn, of Crowded House fame, will play in Byron Bay with his wife Sharon and their band The Pyjama Club on June 11.

DON'T dream, it's not over, Neil Finn to hit the stage

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

Ewen Bremner in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

Director Danny Boyle proves sequels can be done well.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

Julie trumpets her career in music

MAKE SOME NOISE: Julie Payne played trumpet in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for 27 years and is retiring. She grew up in Casino.

"She has the potential to become a first-class instrumentalist.”

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Proposed $21 million airpark in holding pattern

A front view of the proposed new aviation museum at Evans Head.

Late businessman's dream on hold ... for now

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!