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23 November 2011updated 26 Sep 2015 9:31pm

What do James Murdoch’s resignations mean?

News International chairman resigns from the boards of the Sun and the Times.

By George Eaton

The Evening Standard has the news that James Murdoch has resigned from the boards of the parent companies of the Sun and the Times. He will, however, remain chairman of News International, the ultimate owner of the titles.

The move will inevitably be seen through the prism of the phone-hacking scandal but it has more to do with Murdoch’s relocation to New York (“This is one company, not two,” Rupert told James, “and it is run out of New York.”) and the fact he’ll be spending less time in London. True, he has resigned as director of News Group Newspapers (the owner of the Sun and the defunct News of the World), the company embroiled in legal action over phone-hacking, but as News International chairman the board will continue to report to him. He has hardly cut himself loose from the papers.

But as the Standard notes, “his decision means no member of the Murdoch family now sits on the boards of the flagship UK papers”. James, who does not share his father’s romantic attachment to print, will be well aware of the symbolic significance.

Update: Harriet Harman has responded for Labour, urging Murdoch to “make clear why he has stepped down in this way.” She added: “This does not lessen in any way the need for him to answer questions or take responsibility for what happened on his watch. Furthermore, the concerns about whether he is a fit and proper person to run BSkyB remain.”

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  1. Politics
  2. Media
23 November 2011

What do James Murdoch’s resignations mean?

News International chairman resigns from the boards of the Sun and the Times.

By George Eaton

The Evening Standard has the news that James Murdoch has resigned from the boards of the parent companies of the Sun and the Times. He will, however, remain chairman of News International, the ultimate owner of the titles.

The move will inevitably be seen through the prism of the phone-hacking scandal but it has more to do with Murdoch’s relocation to New York (“This is one company, not two,” Rupert told James, “and it is run out of New York.”) and the fact he’ll be spending less time in London. True, he has resigned as director of News Group Newspapers (the owner of the Sun and the defunct News of the World), the company embroiled in legal action over phone-hacking, but as News International chairman the board will continue to report to him. He has hardly cut himself loose from the papers.

But as the Standard notes, “his decision means no member of the Murdoch family now sits on the boards of the flagship UK papers”. James, who does not share his father’s romantic attachment to print, will be well aware of the symbolic significance.

Update: Harriet Harman has responded for Labour, urging Murdoch to “make clear why he has stepped down in this way.” She added: “This does not lessen in any way the need for him to answer questions or take responsibility for what happened on his watch. Furthermore, the concerns about whether he is a fit and proper person to run BSkyB remain.”

Content from our partners
Data science can help developers design future-proof infrastructure
How to tackle the UK's plastic pollution problem – with Coca-Cola
The hard truth about soft skills

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU