Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch’s company News Corp. has expressed “full confidence” in him “continuing to lead News Corporation into the future as its chairman and CEO.”
The endorsement came about 36 hours after a British parliamentary committee described Murdoch as “not a fit person” to run a major international company.
CNN quoted a News Corp. statement as saying: “The Board based its vote of confidence on Rupert Murdoch’s vision and leadership in building News Corporation, his ongoing performance as Chairman and CEO, and his demonstrated resolve to address the mistakes of the Company identified in the Select Committee’s report,’ the company said in a statement following a board meeting.”
The British Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee issued a damning report Tuesday accusing Murdoch and his son James of showing “willful blindness” to phone hacking at the News Limited tabloid “News of the World,” and saying that the newspaper “deliberately tried to thwart the police investigation” into the illegal activity.
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The report lay much of the blame at the feet of top News Corp. executives, and particularly James Murdoch, who runs the company’s European operations.
It could prompt British regulators to force Murdoch to sell his controlling stake in the satellite-TV business British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB), a significant part of his media empire, CNN wrote.
Meanwhile, BusinessWeek cited Murdoch’s “friends” as defending 81-year-old, including Donald Trump, billionaire Barry Diller and Jacob Rothschild, an investment banker who helped Murdoch buy the now- defunct News of the World tabloid more than 40 years ago.
The three were among several executives who sent out statements supporting Murdoch.
“We shouldn’t forget that he made a unique contribution to media in this country,” BW quoted Rothschild, a British baron and co-founder and chairman of J Rothschild Capital Management, who worked alongside James Murdoch at BSkyB, as saying.
Murdoch Sr. saved the UK newspaper industry and was a pioneer of pay-television in the country, Rothschild said.
Diller, who runs IAC/InterActiveCorp, the parent company of Match.com, said in a statement that working “intimately” with Rupert Murdoch for eight years, he’d never seen “anything other than the most honorable behavior in every possible business situation.”
He also called Murdoch “more fit, morally and otherwise, to lead an organization than the majority of those that do.”
Trump posted on Twitter that Murdoch was a “world class CEO” and “certainly fit to run his corporation.”
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