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James Murdoch steps down from News Corp

By Yukio Strachan     Mar 1, 2012 in Business
James Murdoch, the youngest son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, resigned overnight as the head of his father’s scandal-plagued newspaper in Britain.
"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," said Murdoch in a statement.
"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."
The announcement that Murdoch, 39, had quit as executive chairman of News International, comes after new embarrassing revelations that there was a "culture of illegal payments" to corrupt public officials at the company's flagship Sun newspaper. Reuters reported.
Once seen as heir apparent to his 80-year-old father, Murdoch,39, has been under increasing pressure since the phone-hacking scandal erupted last summer at the British newspapers.
"No one is surprised at this development," said Douglas McCabe, a media analyst at Enders Analysis, according to the Associated Press. "The view is that James' association with News International was becoming problematic and this is an attempt to move him away from it."
The scandal brought down Murdoch's 168-year-old News of the World tabloid and led to the arrests of more than a dozen journalists.
The News Corp Chairman praised his son's leadership at News International, saying in the statement that James has made "lasting contributions" to the group's global strategy.
"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," he said.
To some analysts, the move was unsurprising explaining that Rupert wanted to keep his son far from the troubles in London.
“Today’s announcement is designed to protect him and give him a fresh start in New York,” said Michael Pryce-Jones, a spokesman for the CtW Investment Group, a shareholder activist group based in Washington that works with pension funds for large labor unions like the Teamsters and United Farm Workers to the New York Times. “Everyone else involved in the scandal has been thrown under the bus, but James Murdoch is being protected.”
Meanwhile,WalesOnline reports that Welsh phone-hacking victim Chris Bryant MP today took to twitter to praise the decision of Murdoch to resign.
"James Murdoch leaves NI under a very dark cloud," the Rhondda MP tweeted.
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