James Murdoch to step down as BSkyB chairman: Report

James Murdoch to step down as BSkyB chairman: Report


MUMBAI: Under fire over the phone hacking scandal, James Murdoch is likely to step down as the chairman of News Corp?s British sports broadcasting business unit, BSkyB, according to a report by Sky News.

Quoting unidentified sources, the news broadcaster said Murdoch was due to attend a board meeting on Tuesday and is expected to stand down from his position as chairman with immediate effect.

BSkyB?s senior non-executive director Nick Ferguson is tipped to replace Jr Murdoch, who will continue to remain on BSkyB?s board as a non-executive director.

It was only in February that the Jr Murdoch stepped down as executive chairman of News International that is being probed by UK authorities for phone hacking surrounding its now defunct News of the World paper. Jr. Murdoch, though, has denied any knowledge of wrongdoing by the News of the World staff, a claim that hasn?t cut much ice.

To firewall him from the likely impact of the scandal, News Corp had relocated him to New York headquarters as the deputy COO of the parent company.

Jr. Murdoch had last month further cut off all remaining ties with News International, the UK publishing business of News Corp, by resigning from the boards of Times Newspaper Holdings; News Corp Investments; and News International Publishers Limited.

More importantly, the decision to step down from BSkyB comes ahead of Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee?s report into allegations of phone hacking by the end of the month. James is also expected to appear before the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics with his father Rupert Murdoch at the end of the month.

The British media regulator Ofcom is already evaluating whether James Murdoch is ?fit and proper? to hold a broadcast license on behalf of BSkyB.

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