Murdoch sets the stage for 'talented' son to succeed him

Rupert Murdoch lavished praise on his youngest son, James, as he manoeuvred him into position to succeed him as head of his giant media empire.

The 34-year-old is a "talented and proven executive with a rare blend of international perspective and deep, hands-on experience", the septuagenarian media mogul said, confirming that James will take a powerful new post at his father's right hand.

After having been the youngest chief executive of a FTSE 100 company at the Murdoch-controlled BSkyB, his promotion makes him the most powerful media executive of his generation. He will run News Corporation's stable of British papers, including The Sun and The Times, as well as broadcasting and publishing assets across Europe and Asia.

"James has transformed Sky, which is now not only Europe's most valuable television company, but also the fastest growing challenger in the much larger UK marketplace for entertainment, broadband and telephony," Mr Murdoch senior said yesterday. "His experience at Sky, combined with his track record in Asia while running [the satellite broadcaster] Star, and prior roles, make him uniquely qualified to take forward these exciting businesses."

The elevation of his son frees Mr Murdoch, 76, to concentrate on running the Wall Street Journal, the mighty American financial newspaper he bought for $5bn in the summer after a long take-over battle. After coveting the politically influential paper for decades, he has thrown himself into planning for its expansion and a new competitive battle against the New York Times.

James Murdoch will take control of businesses that include Star TV in Asia and Sky Italia, while also remaining as chairman of BSkyB. For the time being, however, it is the newspapers that will be "front and centre" in James Murdoch's new role, executives said yesterday. He will move into News International's Wapping headquarters in London within the next few days, and is expected to spend most of the next few months learning the newspaper business. "He is going to be up to his armpits in newspapers for the next few months because, although he has been immersed in them all his life because of his father and loves them, he has never worked in them."

The younger Mr Murdoch is credited with switching his father on to green issues, and his arrival at News International could ultimately lead to a change in tone at the newspapers. Friends say he is as engaged and keen on argument as his father, but with a more progressive and libertarian bent to his politics.

And yesterday he expressed an upbeat view on the newspaper industry's future in the internet age. "Media is fundamentally a business of ideas where top-quality, professional journalism and creative entertainment have an extremely bright future," he said. "Significant value can be created by focusing on pace, execution and taking advantage of the sea change we are seeing in media."

News International executives are believed to have discussed for several months promoting Rebekah Wade, editor of The Sun, to a powerful new role, and the departure of Les Hinton, chairman of News International for the past 12 years, created a vacancy. Mr Hinton, a former journalist in Mr Murdoch's native Australia, has been a loyal lieutenant to the media mogul for several decades and is being moved to New York to run the newly acquired Dow Jones company, owner of the Wall Street Journal.

However, Mr Murdoch used the vacancy to put his son in contention to succeed him as chairman and chief executive of the family controlled parent company, News Corp.

News
A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
science
News
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Extras
indybest
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Legal Recruitment Consultant

Highly Competitive Salary + Commission: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL BASED - DEALING ...

Digital Project Manager / Web Project Manager

£45-50k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced ...

Account Manager

£30 - 35k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Account Manager to join ...

Social Advertising Manager / Social Media Manager

£Excellent + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Social Advertising Manager / Social Med...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?