Murdoch appoints Carey as News Corp deputy

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Rupert Murdoch, who pushed out his longtime No 2 Peter Chernin earlier this year, has lured another former News Corporation stalwart back to the media conglomerate to be his right-hand man.

Chase Carey, who currently runs DirecTV, the US satellite broadcaster that was part of Mr Murdoch's empire until last year, was last night confirmed as News Corp's new deputy chairman, taking over when Mr Chernin moves on at the end of this month.

The elaborately-moustached Mr Carey has been a Murdoch lieutenant for almost all of the past 15 years, and helped develop the company's Fox Sports channel, as well as its satellite operations across Europe and Asia.

He is returning at a time when News Corp, in common with most media giants, is suffering from the slump in advertising. The company's businesses span book publishing, cable news and network television in the US, the Twentieth Century Fox film studios and satellite and newspaper businesses around the world.

"This is not a time to stand still or allow the difficulties we're all facing to overwhelm us," Mr Murdoch said in a memo to employees last night. "Chase has been an important adviser and a close friend to me for several decades. I know that his leadership, strategic capabilities and more than 15 years of experience at our company will prove invaluable as we face the challenges and opportunities before us."

News Corp had previously said it would not replace Mr Chernin, whose contract renewal talks stalled on issues related to the succession to Mr Murdoch, now 78. The mogul is grooming as his son, James, to become the next chairman. Mr Chernin's previous contract had been agreed on the understanding that he would step into the top job, not a Murdoch family member, should Mr Murdoch be incapacitated.

Mr Murdoch handed over News Corp's controlling stake in DirecTV to arch-rival John Malone's Liberty Media empire last year, in return for Mr Malone relinquishing his large in News Corp.