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August 11, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

James Murdoch

The scandal over voicemail hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s now-shuttered News of the World tabloid may have displaced his son James from his previous position as heir to the throne of the News Corp empire. During a conference call to discuss the company’s quarterly earnings, Murdoch said that he regards Chase Carey, News Corp’s president and COO, as his “partner, and if anything happened to me, I’m sure he’ll get it immediately — if I went under a bus.” It was the closest Murdoch has ever come to an announcement of a successor. Until recently, James Murdoch had been regarded as the fair-haired young man being groomed for the chairmanship. But he has come under attack in the U.K. for allegedly sanctioning million-pound settlements to hacking victims in order to keep a lid on the scandal and of misleading a parliamentary committee last month looking into the voicemail hacking. The elder Murdoch gave his support to his son on Wednesday, saying that he and Carey had full confidence in him. As for himself, he said, he had no intention to step down as CEO. “I hope the job won’t be open in the near future,” he quipped.