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James Murdoch remains chairman of BSkyB

July 28, 2011 | 10:07 am

JamesMurdochStory James Murdoch finally got some good news.

The embattled News Corp. executive, tarnished by the phone-hacking scandal at the now-closed News of the World, is still chairman of British Sky Broadcasting after a Thursday board meeting. There had been speculation that the probe into News of the World could weaken his position at BSkyB, Britain's largest pay television provider, and possibly lead to his having to step down. So far that bullet has been dodged.

Given that Murdoch's News Corp., owns 39% of BSkyB and its board of directors includes several current and former executives of the company, removing him would have been a difficult task. News Corp. had been planning to buy the 61% of BSkyB it doesn't already own, but had to table those plans after the News of the World mess grew from hacking into the voicemail accounts of celebrities and royal family members to victims of crime and terrorism.

Murdoch, the youngest son of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, serves as deputy chief operating officer and has oversight over the conglomerate's European operations. He has been on the hot seat for the last few weeks over how he has managed the company's reaction to the scandal and how aware he was of what the paper was doing.

How the News of the World scandal plays out and its consequences for James Murdoch is crucial to News Corp. as he is seen as the likely successor to his father, who is 80.


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-- Joe Flint

 Photo: James Murdoch. Credit: EPA.