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.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
tv

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
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

Head of Marketing - London

£60000 - £85000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Interim Head of Marketing / Marketin...

IT Application Support Engineer - Immediate Start

£28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Software Application Support Analyst - Imm...

Digital Project Manager

£25 - 30k: Guru Careers: A Digital Project Manager is needed to join an exciti...

Paid Search Analyst / PPC Analyst

£24 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Paid Search Analyst / PPC...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week