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Rupert Murdoch Throwing Son James Under The Bus?

Reported by Ellen - August 11, 2011 -

If you were wondering whether family ties would win out over Rupert Murdoch's business interests, the answer seems to be in - and it's a no. At least that's what Papa Murdoch appears to have just telegraphed.

Mogulite reports today that James Murdoch is no longer the "de facto" successor as News Corp. CEO thanks to some comments made by Rupert during an earnings call yesterday - an earnings call that announced a 22-percent drop in net income. The website bases its conclusion on the fact that Murdoch Senior announced during the call:

“The board and I believe I should continue my current role as chairman and CEO but make no mistake, Chase Carey and I run this company as a team… Chase is my partner. If anything happened to me, I’m sure he’d get [my job] immediately, I mean if I went under a bus. Chase and I have full confidence in James. But you know, in the end, succession’s a matter for the board.”

Mogulite's Amy Tennery notes:

It was fairly obvious to anyone watching the father-son Parliament hearing that their doddering-old-man-with-whip-smart-son dynamic was going to saddle James with the bulk of the controversy...

...(It's) hard to see this move (Rupert's comments about Carey) as anything other than the next step in a plan executed to keep Rupert out of the melee. Of course, the fact that Carey has managed to avoid the brunt of the scrutiny here is nothing less than a triumph of crisis management skills. But — even if he isn’t culpable in any of this mess — the vultures have long been circling in on James Murdoch and appearances are the name of the game right now.

The question in my mind is even if James plays the role of sacrificial lamb, will that save News Corp. from this still-developing scandal?

Stay tuned!

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