Once the heir apparent to Rupert Murdoch’s throne, James Murdoch is stepping down from his role as executive chairman at News International, following the hacking scandals that continue to provoke investigations and arrests in Great Britain.
James Murdoch “Will continue to assume a variety of essential corporate leadership mandates, with particular focus on important pay-TV businesses and broader international operations,” according to a statement from his father, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch.
NPR’s media correspondent, David Folkenflik, notes that, “James Murdoch’s resignation from News International comes amid expansion of scandal to heart of 2nd UK Murdoch tabloid, the Sun, for bribery.”
In a press release James said, “I look forward to expanding my commitment to News Corporation’s international television businesses.”
Folkenflik also tweets, “Worth noting: there had previously been plans for him to release these duties as he ascended at News Corp, where he is 3rd highest executive.”
Here is the full statement from Rupert Murdoch:
We are all grateful for James’ 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 programs. He has demonstrated leadership and continues to create great value at Star TV, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, and BSkyB. Now that he has moved to New York, James will continue to assume a variety of essential corporate leadership mandates, with particular focus on important pay-TV businesses and broader international operations.
And from James Murdoch:
I deeply appreciate the dedication of my many talented colleagues at News International who work tirelessly to inform the public and am confident about the tremendous momentum we have achieved under the leadership of my father and Tom Mockridge. 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. As Deputy Chief Operating Officer, I look forward to expanding my commitment to News Corporation’s international television businesses and other key initiatives across the Company.