James Murdoch has resigned from the News Corp board because of disagreements over editorial content. Image by EPA PHOTO

economy, business and finance

James Murdoch exits News Corp board

2020-08-01 09:05:24

James Murdoch, former chief executive of 21st Century Fox and son of Rupert Murdoch, has resigned from the News Corp board of directors because of “disagreements over certain editorial content” published by the company’s news outlets.

“My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions,” his brief resignation letter reads.

News Corp’s brands include Australian publications the Australian, the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, and US publishers such as Dow Jones, which includes the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post.

It also owns The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times in the UK.

His father, the elder Murdoch, has been executive chairman of News Corp since 2013 after the company was separated from 21st Century Fox, and is the chairman of Fox Corp, which operates Fox News, Fox Sports, Fox Entertainment and Fox television stations. 

James’ brother Lachlan Murdoch is the executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corp.

Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch said in a statement: “We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

Both remain on the News Corp board, which is now left with 10 directors.

James is known as the more liberal Murdoch brother.

He once told Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Radhika Jones that he does not watch Fox News, and has called opinion programming on US cable news not “terribly helpful”.

In January, he and his wife, through a spokesperson, said they were disappointed with the denial of the link to climate change in coverage of Australia’s bushfires in News Corp-owned papers.

More than 280 Wall Street Journal journalists and other staffers also recently sent a letter to the paper’s publisher criticising the Opinion section, saying it published inaccuracies and undermined the paper with readers and sources.

James and Lachlan had shared power at 21st Century Fox, but the sale of much of the Fox entertainment business to Disney in 2019 saw James depart as CEO.