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Trouble For The Murdochs Brewing At Upcoming News Corp. Shareholders’ Meeting

Reported by Ellen - October 15, 2011 -

News Corporation’s shareholders’ meeting is next Thursday, October 21. But there are plenty of signs that challenges to the leadership of the conglomerate are in the offing. Reuters reported (found via Yahoo) yesterday, “Rupert Murdoch's multi-million dollar campaign to win back the hearts and minds of News Corporation's independent investors suffered a new blow on Friday after another key shareholder group called for his eviction from its board.”

The group in question is Hermes Equity Ownership Services (HEOS). Reuters says:

The organization, which votes on behalf of the BT Pension Fund and more than 20 other institutional clients running $140 billion of assets, has also called for an independent investigation into the phone hacking scandal that led to the closure of top-selling British tabloid The News of the World.

Besides seeking the removal of Murdoch and sons James and Lachlan, HEOS -- whose members hold 0.5 percent of News Corp's shares -- Hermes is also withholding support for the re-election of directors Arthur Siskind and Andrew Knight, citing concerns for their independence.

This was after another shareholder challenge earlier in the week, when Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. called for the ouster of Murdoch and 10 other directors, saying the phone hacking scandal revealed their “striking lack of stewardship and independence.”

From Reuters again:

The ISS statement prompted News Corp, which has bought back more than $1 billion of its stock since August, to step up its appeal for shareholder support with a letter that reiterated its strong financial performance in the face of the flagging global economy.

Meanwhile, the Change to Win folks are calling for an occupation of Fox studios during the meeting. You can find more details on Facebook.

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