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DirecTV's Chase Carey named deputy chairman of News Corp.

June 3, 2009 |  1:21 pm

DirecTV today said it had accepted the resignation of its chief executive, Chase Carey, to pave the way for him to take the job helping Rupert Murdoch run his News Corp. media empire.

The satellite broadcaster was rocked last week when it was leaked that the company’s CEO of five years disclosed at Tuesday’s board meeting that he wished to leave the El Segundo company to become Murdoch’s top lieutenant. Chase

In Carey’s place, DirecTV has installed its general counsel, Larry D. Hunter, as its interim head until a successor is named.

Carey had more than a year remaining on his contract at DirecTV but was lured by the prospect of running the day-to-day operations of Murdoch’s global enterprise, which includes a film studio, television stations, the Fox broadcast network and newspapers on three continents, including the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

The job had eluded Carey during an earlier stint at News Corp., when he lost out to Peter Chernin, who will step down at the end of the month as chief operating officer. But, unlike Chernin, Carey will have the expanded title of deputy chairman in addition to COO and president.

Carey informed the DirecTV board Tuesday of his decision, after the company’s annual shareholder meeting. He plans to leave DirecTV on July 1. The  board decided to conduct a formal search to find a permanent CEO.

It is unknown what deal, if any, Murdoch reached with DirecTV Chairman John Malone to free Carey from his contract. Murdoch and Malone have often been business allies but, at times, fierce rivals as well. Malone’s company, Liberty Media Corp., controls 48% of DirecTV.

From 1996 to 2002, Carey was one of Murdoch’s most trusted advisors, serving as co-chief operating officer of News Corp.

DirecTV’s interim chief, Hunter, has been the company’s general counsel since 2002.

-- Meg James

Photo: Fred Prouser / Reuters