Feb. 29 - James Murdoch, the younger son of Rupert, will relinquish his position as executive chairman of News International. Ciara Sutton reports.
It's been a turbulent time for the Murdoch empire, and now James Murdoch has quit his role as News International's executive Chairman. The son of Rupert was once the undisputed heir to News Corp's top job. But he will now be just News Corp's deputy chief operating officer. James has been under intense pressure since the phone-hacking scandal erupted at the UK newspaper group. Thousands of pounds was reportedly paid to investigators by News International journalists to probe into the lives of murder victims and celebrities. The scandal led the company to close its News of the World Sunday tabloid in July. Last week it launched a new Sun on Sunday to replace it with the Murdochs declaring a bright future for the company. But the continuing Leveson inquiry into the ethical practice of the British press continues to cast a shadow over News International. A report by the culture and media select committee is also due soon. James Murdoch faced the board twice last year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEWS CORPORATION EUROPEAN CHIEF EXECUTIVE, JAMES MURDOCH, SAYING "These actions do not live up to the standards that our company aspires to everywhere around the world and it is our determination to both put things right, make sure these things don't happen again and to be the company that I know we have always aspired to be, Chief Executive of News International Tom Mockridge will continue in his post and report to News Corp President Chase Carey. Rupert Murdoch says his son will continue to have an key role in the company. News Corp shares rose nearly two percent after the announcement. Ciara Sutton, Reuters