News Corp Shareholders Mounting New Revolt Against Murdoch
Several prominent News Corp shareholders reportedly are prepared to try again to oust James Murdoch from the board of the media giant following his decision to step down as head of News International, the scandal-plagued division that oversees the company's U.K. newspapers. A shareholders' revolt last year that also sought James Murdoch's removal from the board failed largely because the majority of voting shares are controlled by Rupert Murdoch, his family, and allies. But, in interviews with Britain's Guardian newspaper, several influential shareholders predicted that given the ongoing investigation into corruption at News International, the shareholders' revolt could pick up steam. On Wednesday, Rupert Murdoch said that his son will "continue to assume a variety of essential corporate leadership mandates, with particular focus on important pay-TV businesses and broader international operations." But a senior executive of the company, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Guardian , "There's too much trouble hanging over his head. All this newspaper stuff just seems to get worse by the day. How can anyone expect him to fully commit to anything else? And anyone who works with him is going to be wondering how long he's going to be around." Meanwhile, CNN founder Ted Turner has remarked that if the current investigations of News International in the U.K. lead to successful prosecutions, Murdoch "should resign or step down." Turner told the Hollywood Reporter "When I was a publisher of CNN, I took responsibility for the actions of the network. If they broke the law by wire-tapping, that's illegal, [and if Murdoch knew] he'd have to go to prison. If anybody else did, they'd be going to prison," Turner said.