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What James Murdoch’s move tells us

29 February 2012

4:16 PM

29 February 2012

4:16 PM

When Rupert Murdoch visited the Sun newsroom recently, eyebrows were raised by the fact
that he was accompanied not by James Murdoch but Lachlan Murdoch. James Murdoch, who has never had his father’s emotional commitment to the newspaper side of the business, has now stepped
down as executive chairman of News International, though he remains as deputy COO of News Corporation.
James Murdoch has not come out well of the various investigations into hacking. He has appeared to have been oddly uninterested in developments at the company. His performances in front of
parliamentary select committees have left several questions unanswered. James Murdoch, though, will now have left News International before the Culture, Media and Sport select committee
Robert Peston, who has good sources inside News International, reports that James Murdoch’s departure is also a signal that Rupert
Murdoch intends to take a far more hands on role with his UK tabloids.

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Show comments
  • Nicholas

    Yes, telemachus, we know you lurk and can cut and paste. But you can’t post your drivel there, eh? Carry on licking the window and venting you left-wing loon.

  • Simon Stephenson.

    Jon Stack : 11.35pm

    “The real story is the apparent ease with which public officials have abused their positions in accepting bungs in return for information. When will these individuals be called to account?”

    No. If this is the real story, then no good will come out of it.

    The important think to consider is what sort of society we’ve become where honesty, reciprocity, truth and consideration have been reduced to being the behaviour only of the sanctimonious and the unworldly, and dishonesty, fabrication and mild criminality are widely seen as perfectly acceptable actions in the course of making ones way in the world?

  • telemachus’

    Probably sees it as some kind of duty to the comrades. God, how those people love to try to control everything.
    Perhaps if Mr Maidstone would permit direct engagement. Debate from different standpoints is stimulating. Remember Putin on Sunday will be approaching the years of his greatest forbear

  • TwentyTwoYards


    In any case, the British government has no call to be in the newspaper or TV production business; it should have its hands full! Most of the businesses owned by News International are market-leaders, and the best in their class. Even if they weren’t, how does that concern the taxpayer?

    If the respective offerings of BSkyB, or The Times, or The Sun, or Fox are too poor to survive, the business will simply fold – what affair that is of Whitehall bureaucrats I have no idea!

  • TwentyTwoYards


    With respect, that is a truly bizarre prescription! In fact, I am almost certain you were being sarcastic, and if so, my sincere apologies for missing the humour – it’s still very early here.

    There’s NO problem on earth that nationalisation and government control couldn’t make far, far worse! Reasonable men may differ about News International; some, including me, may believe it to be largely a forward-thinking, highly innovative and successful business that has made mistakes and should pay for it under the due process of the Law; others may believe that the organisation is too corrupt to survive. Regardless of our subjective views, we should let the criminal justice system take its course – nationalisation would merely exacerbate and greatly magnify any existing problems, whilst also destroying most of the innovation and success.

  • Jon Stack

    Oh not more of the media’s obsession with itself. Can’t you keep all this tedious tittle tattle to yourselves?
    The real story is the apparent ease with which public officials have abused their positions in accepting bungs in return for information. When will these individuals be called to account?

  • Nicholas

    telemachus’ – the problem is, old son, that you don’t see.

  • telemachus’

    I see
    A titanic pedant
    Better to wallow in the mud

  • Colin Cumner

    Now there is a toxic vacancy if ever there was one – any takers?

  • Mudplugger

    Love it or loathe it, News International is a forward-looking communications business. Dead-tree press units are in the rear-view mirror only.
    Murdoch Senior is merely preparing the way to off-load all the UK paper assets to some gullible fool, while NI concentrates on developing the profitable streams of the electronic media which will deliver its mega-revenues in the coming decades, for long after the Dirty Digger has gone. That’s called a strategy.

  • McClane

    The real issue isn’t that NI was paying for information. The real issue is that corruption is widespread in the police, possibly up to and including Met Police Commissioners, maybe even ACPO. This is what Leveson needs to be looking at.

  • Holly ……

    Another very odd thing to me is, why now?
    Why are we now hearing Brookes adopted an ex-police horse,just in time for the the Sun on Sunday?
    Why was this not mentioned when she was in front of the commitee or arrested?
    THE REAL STORY HERE is being OVERLOOKED and SERIOUSLY UNDERPLAYED..The corruption of public officials.The MSM prefer to push the side show of some news bod looking after an ex-police horse.

  • Fex Urbis

    James Murdoch is very thick and was totally out of his depth. His departure should be no surprise to anybody.

  • Holly ……

    Something BIGGER is coming down the track?

    ‘In two years time you will understand why I have done this’.Weren’t they the words of Murdoch Snr?
    Like I posted on another thread..Who were these ‘public officials’?
    Did these ‘public officials’ know, or were they part of the ‘payment culture’?
    How ‘high up’ did these ‘public officials’ receiving payments go?
    Now Murdoch Snr is back in the picture,let’s
    hope he tells us how it was in the heady days of New/old Labour 1997-2010 before he steps away from the UK papers & retires.

  • strapworld

    Well I for one will remember James Murdoch for the highly respectful and curteous manner in which he gave his evidence to the select committee. He certainly showed the way to address others to our Honourable Friends!

    I also consider that he was kept in the dark
    by those who resented this young upstart being above them in the pecking order.

    Journalism has taken a battering over these allegations and investigations, as well as the Police. Both once considered honourable occupations now in the gutter. Time for a wind of change in both.

    I cannot see a way back for Rebecca.

  • Jeremy


    Personally, I think that Parliament and the government should take a stand and nationalize News International’s interests in this country.

    And whilst they’re about it, I think they should also rescind the UK/US Extradition Treaty. Perhaps they could do both at once, as a sort of job lot…

  • Vulture

    Nepotism is never a good business practice.
    Especially in the news business.

    Old Rupe in his prime was a great businessman. Not the grinning, dribbling dolt he has become in his dotage.

    The sons have never amounted to much. NI has had its time. It’s time is up.

  • Nicholas

    “James Murdoch has not come out well of the various investigations into hacking.”

    Shouldn’t that be “from” or “in” rather than “of”? It sounds like speaking rather than writing.