Murdoch junior QUITS board of Sun publisher
Quietly resigned from News International's sister biz
James Murdoch has sensationally resigned from News Group Newspapers' board of directors, thereby seemingly turning his back on News International's remaining British publications: The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times.
A filing at Companies House, first spotted by the Evening Standard, revealed that Murdoch quietly resigned from his directorship at NGN on 29 September.
It's unclear why the information has only just come to light.
Since the phone-hacking scandal began to unravel earlier this year, pressure has been mounting on media tycoon Rupert Murdoch's son, with some shareholders at parent company News Corp calling for the company's heir-apparent to quit the publishing giant.
NGN, the one-time publisher of now-defunct News of the World – the tabloid at the centre of the voicemail interception and police corruption allegations circling around Fleet Street – is yet to respond with an official statement.
According to the Standard, News International – which wasn't answering its telephone or responding to email at time of writing – said this didn't mean that Murdoch junior would step down from his role as chairman at NI.
However, pundits will wonder if his directorship resignation from NGN could point towards News International preparing to exit from its remaining newspaper empire in Blighty.
James Murdoch may also face a shareholder revolt next week at BSkyB's annual general meeting. He is currently the chairman of that company, 39 per cent of which is owned by News Corp.
BSkyB's board gave Murdoch junior its full backing in July at the height of the phone-hacking drama that has engulfed his father's firm. ®
Circling the wagons ?
Ever since the phone-hacking scandal started to creep towards the USA, I have suspected NI could be in very big trouble. Whilst the few yanks that know about the UK side of things might have some sympathy, if the suggestion that *US* citizens were treated in a similar way - especially victims of 9/11 - then the Murdochs pere-et-fil could see what a lynch mob *really* looks like.
So maybe this is the first step in disaster control, when the US authorities start to report back - isn't there an ongoing FBI investigation ?
And somewhere, right now, Ian Hislop is extremely happy :)
And nothing of value was lost
Much as everyone (justifiably) hates Murdoch the Elder, he's a pretty competent businessman and seems to have done alright for himself. By comparison little Jimmy is a useless little tit, and a prime example of why nepotism is a bloody stupid idea.
Traditionally, one might put the last scion of a ruling dynasty to the fire and sword. Tragically, that will be too much to hope for here.