James Murdoch Steps Down as Chair of BSkyB

Share:
James Murdoch is driven away from the QE2 Conference center in London following the BskyB annual general meeting Tuesday Nov. 29, 2011. James Murdoch was re-elected as the chairman of broadcaster BSkyB on Tuesday despite calls for his resignation over the phone hacking scandal that has rocked Britain. Murdoch won the support of 81.24 percent of shareholder votes, while 18.76 percent voted against him at the company's annual meeting, BSkyB said. News Corp., the media conglomerate controlled by Murdoch's father Rupert Murdoch, owns 39 percent of the company.

Photo: James Murdoch is driven away from the QE2 Conference center in London following the BskyB annual general meeting Tuesday Nov. 29, 2011. James Murdoch was re-elected as the chairman of broadcaster BSkyB on Tuesday despite calls for his resignation over the phone hacking scandal that has rocked Britain. (AP Photo/Gareth Fuller/PA Wire)

April 3, 2012
In Murdoch’s Scandal, FRONTLINE goes inside the phone-hacking scandal that rocked a government and shook a media giant. Watch the full film here.

In the week since FRONTLINE aired Murdoch’s Scandal, there have been quite a few shakeups in the circle of News Corp. companies — not the least of which is today’s announcement by British Sky Broadcasting, or BSkyB, that James Murdoch is stepping down as chairman.

While he’ll continue to serve on the satellite television company’s board, the move is the latest blow to both James Murdoch — last month, he stepped down as chair of News International — and to News Corp., whose bid to take control of BSkyB was derailed last summer by the widening phone-hacking scandal.

In Murdoch’s Scandal, former Deputy Prime Minister Lord John Prescott explained the significance of BSkyB to the Murdoch empire:

If you look about the money the Murdochs get from BSkyB, it’s money, money, money. And the money then keeps on keeping funding papers that don’t make money. But papers bring him influence more than television does. Ask yourself, does that sound to be a good business model? Whether it’s good or not, it’s certainly a business model.

Check out this graphic for more on which divisions of News Corp. bring in the most money — and how that’s changed over the past 10 years.

There’s also an unfolding story out of Australia to keep an eye on: allegations that a News Corp. software subsidiary hacked into a competing satellite television’s encrypted pay-TV cards. Rupert Murdoch responded to those allegations last week, in a tweet:

 

Update [April 4, 2012]: An article in today’s Bloomberg Businessweek poses an intriguing question: Did James Murdoch step down as chair of BSkyB to strengthen News Corp.’s chances of buying a majority stake of the company in the future?


In order to foster a civil and literate discussion that respects all participants, FRONTLINE has the following guidelines for commentary. By submitting comments here, you are consenting to these rules:

Readers' comments that include profanity, obscenity, personal attacks, harassment, or are defamatory, sexist, racist, violate a third party's right to privacy, or are otherwise inappropriate, will be removed. Entries that are unsigned or are "signed" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. We reserve the right to not post comments that are more than 400 words. We will take steps to block users who repeatedly violate our commenting rules, terms of use, or privacy policies. You are fully responsible for your comments.

blog comments powered by Disqus

More Stories

Derek Chauvin, three other ex-Minneapolis officers indicted by Justice Department on civil rights charges in killing of George Floyd
A federal grand jury has indicted four ex-Minneapolis police officers on charges of abusing their positions of authority to detain George Floyd, leading to his death last May.
May 7, 2021
FRONTLINE Earns Five Peabody Awards Nominations
Five FRONTLINE documentaries have been named 2021 George Foster Peabody Award finalists.
May 4, 2021
‘Escaping Eritrea’ Filmmaker Evan Williams Describes ‘Phenomenal Sacrifice’ of Eritreans Sneaking Footage Out of Country
'Escaping Eritrea' producer Evan Williams set out to learn what was driving so many Eritreans from their homeland. He found answers — as well as people trying to smuggle secret footage out of the country.
May 4, 2021
500,000 Refugees, ‘Slavery-like’ Compulsory Service, No National Elections, Border Conflicts & Secret Prisons: 5 Human Rights Crises in Eritrea
From compulsory conscription to the mass exodus of refugees, here is an introduction to five of Eritrea’s biggest human rights crises.
May 4, 2021