James Murdoch to resign as BSkyB chairman

LONDON. April 3. KAZINFORM James Murdoch is to step down as chairman of UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB, but will remain on the board.

His father Rupert founded its parent company News Corporation, which had to drop its bid for BSkyB amid a phone-hacking scandal at a UK newspaper, BBC News reports.

Sources told Robert Peston, the BBC's business editor, that it was James Murdoch's decision to leave.

They said it was an attempt to pre-empt further criticism as investigations continue into phone hacking.

In February, James Murdoch stepped down as chairman of News International, which published the News of the World.

It shut down the Sunday title last July amid a storm of allegations of widespread wrongdoing, including the hacking of the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

Mr Murdoch said last month that he had moved to New York to work on News Corp's pay-TV business.

News Corp owns 39% of BSkyB and had wanted to buy the whole of the firm.

'No blind eye'

James Murdoch, who is deputy chief operating officer at News Corp, has repeatedly denied knowing about phone hacking at the News of the World.

He said in a letter to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee last month that he accepted his share of the blame for not uncovering phone hacking at the News of the World sooner but denied he had turned a "blind eye" to allegations of criminal wrongdoing.

A representative of the Hacked Off campaign group, which represents victims of phone hacking, said the change in role did not get those affected nearer to the truth about what happened.

"It's quite clear that this is, as befits a news family, a form of news management," said Evan Harris, a former Liberal Democrat MP and member of the group.

"But I repeat what the victims that Hacked Off seeks to represent want, is the full story to come out and not just people leaving a small fraction of their income behind as they go on to other parts of the business," he told BBC News.

Nicholas Ferguson will take over as chairman of BSkyB.


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