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September 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

James and Rupert Murdoch

The reported decision by News Corp to name James Murdoch to run the company’s Fox TV operations after he was strongly censured by OFCOM, the British broadcasting regulator, for his failure to take action in the British hacking scandal, is being seen as an unconscionable act of defiance by some News Corp shareholders. Julie Tanner, who holds the title of assistant director of socially responsible investing for New York-based Christian Brothers Investment Services, called the reported promotion a “slap in the face for shareholders, not to mention victims of the hacking scandal.” Last week OFCOM ruled that News Corp should be allowed to keep its 34-percent stake in satellite provider BSkyB but said that James Murdoch, who headed News International and BSkyB, “repeatedly fell short of the exercise of responsibility to be expected of him as CEO and chairman.” In an opinion article about the regulator’s action written for, Peter Jukes, author of the recently published Fall of the House of Murdoch, commented, “In effect, the report said that had James remained as chairman, the plug could have been pulled on Britain’s most lucrative broadcaster.” Jukes is predicting a stormy annual meeting of News Corp’s shareholder, made especially turbulent by revelations likely to be made public during the course of criminal trials of News Corp executives that are scheduled to begin next month.