News Corp. said Deputy Chief Operating Officer James Murdoch is stepping down as executive chairman of the company’s troubled U.K. newspaper unit, News International. He’s relocating to NYC as News Corp. COO, focusing on expanding the company’s international TV business.
News International is still at the center of three criminal investigations over illegal reporting tactics at its newspapers, including the now closed tabloid the News of the World and its sister paper, the Sun. A key issue in the public drama surrounding the scandal has been Murdoch’s handling of the affair and when he learned about the extent of it.
The latest chapter includes The Sun tabloid’s most senior staff being arrested in the ongoing inquiry into alleged bribery.
Murdoch has overseen News Corp.’s operations in Europe and Asia since he joined the company in late 2007 from British Sky Broadcasting Group, which is 39.1% owned by News Corp.
News Corp. named Murdoch deputy COO 3/11 and said he would relocate fromLondonto NYC. At the time, the company said he would maintain responsibility for operations in Europe andAsia, which includes News International.
News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch issued a statement: “We are all grateful for James’ leadership at News International and across Europe andAsia, where he has made lasting contributions to the group’s strategy in paid digital content and its efforts to improve and enhance governance programs.”