James Murdoch resigns from News Corp. board of directors

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James Murdoch abruptly resigned from the board of directors of his father’s publishing company on Friday, signaling an acceleration in family tensions over the tenor and politics of his vast media empire.”My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions,” Murdoch wrote in a quick two-sentence resignation letter to News Corp’s board of directors. .

News Corp. declined to comment. James Murdoch was not available for comment.

The 47-year-old executive served on the board of directors of New York-based News Corp., which has the Wall Street Journal as one of its properties, for two decades. But by the end of Friday, his name had been removed from the company’s website. Two other Murdochs remain: his father, Rupert Murdoch, continues as executive chairman of News Corp., and his older brother, Lachlan Murdoch, remains co-chairman.

Lachlan Murdoch, 48, is also a managing director and executive chairman of the company’s other media company, Fox Corp., which includes Fox News Channel. Until last year, James Murdoch was CEO of Fox, but he left after his father sold most of Fox’s entertainment assets to Walt Disney Co. James Murdoch has since built his own investment company with proceeds from the sale of assets to Disney, as well. like spending time on philanthropy. He remained on the board of News Corp. – until Friday.

“We are grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the best in his future endeavors, ”Rupert Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch said in a joint statement on Friday.

In recent years, James Murdoch has had a strained relationship with his father and brother, although family members play down notions of a feud.

While he was Fox CEO, James Murdoch was instrumental in the ousting of longtime Fox News Channel chairman Roger Ailes amid a growing sexual harassment scandal. James Murdoch also clarified that former Fox News opinion broadcaster Bill O’Reilly was no longer welcome at the company after details were released of several major settlements of sexual harassment allegations. At a press conference last year, James Murdoch admitted that he does not watch Fox News.

James Murdoch and his wife, Kathryn, are big supporters of environmental causes and have made generous donations to Democratic politicians, including Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and US Senate hopefuls Mark Kelly in Arizona and Governor Steve Bullock from Montana. Murdoch has given each of those Senate candidates $ 2,800 this year, and he and his wife have contributed over $ 1 million to Biden’s combined committee with the Democratic Party.

In the past, James Murdoch has bristled at some of the Fox News Channel coverage. When President Trump refused to criticize white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia nearly three years ago, James Murdoch and Kathryn Murdoch sent a check for $ 1 million to the Anti-Defamation League. James Murdoch later said he believed it was important to ‘lead by example’.

In addition to the Wall Street Journal, News Corp. owns the HarperCollins book publishing house, Barron’s, the New York Post, news outlets in Australia, the Times of London and the tabloid Sun – which has defended itself in London courts against defamation. lawsuit brought by movie star Johnny Depp. The Sun, in 2018, published an article that called Depp a “woman drummer.”

There have also been tensions at News Corp’s flagship property. – the newspaper. In July, hundreds of the newspaper’s journalists signed a letter demanding a clearer line between the newspaper’s newsroom and its opinion section. The letter raised concerns about the “lack of fact-checking and transparency” for the articles the editorial board produced.

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