Now Murdoch's Son Quits BSkyB; James Murdoch: I Fear Becoming a Lightning Rod

Article excerpt

Byline: Nicholas Cecil and Gideon Spanier

JAMES MURDOCH today quit as chairman of BSkyB as he cut his last major links with Britain in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.

Rupert Murdoch's 39-year-old son stood down after months of pressure and before a Commons report into the News of the World which is expected to include damning findings on the conduct of senior executives. Media watchdog Ofcom has also been investigating whether BSkyB is "fit and proper" to hold a broadcasting licence with James Murdoch at the helm and with News Corporation having a 39 per cent stake in the business.

James serves as deputy chief operating officer at News Corp, the owner of News International.

In a statement he said: "I am aware that my role as chairman could become a lightning rod for BSkyB and I believe that my resignation will help to ensure that there is no false conflation with events at a separate organisation.

"As attention continues to be paid to past events at News International, I am determined that the interests of BSkyB should not be undermined by matters outside the scope of this company."

Nicholas Ferguson, BSkyB's deputy chairman, was expected to take over the top BSkyB post from James. …


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