Trouble for Murdoch at that shareholders meeting
Media tycoon to be asked to quit.
Media titan Rupert Murdoch may be at the end of his career. And his last days may not be what he expected. As the media tycoon visits Los Angeles for a meeting with shareholders, analysts are expecting that he will be asked to step down along with his family.
Murdoch in this file photo.
Experts predict that Murdoch will also be asked to consent to changes in his board of directors whose members he has hand-picked. Critics say the current leadership of the Corporation does not provide adequate oversight.
Murdoch's far-reaching news empire includes, Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, 20th Century Fox movie studio, and several worldwide newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal.
Much of the controversy surrounds a phone hacking scandal which surfaced in Britain. Murdoch has been compelled to testify before British officials regarding the scandal. He has denied any personal knowledge of wrongdoing. Two of his sons, James and Lachlan serve on the board of directors. They too, will probably be asked to step down. Just six months ago, James was widely seen as the heir apparent to Rupert Murdoch.
At Friday's meeting, Murdoch will certainly face influential and angry shareholders. Notably, two large and influential shareholder advisory firms and the nation's largest pension fund, the California Public Employees' Retirement System, have been actively campaigning to remove Murdoch and his sons from the company's leadership. They have publicly questioned the trio's ethics.
News Corp. still faces criminal charges in Britain. According to British officials, the primary charge involves bribing police officers, and some executives of the company could face perjury charges.
The scandal has already cost News Corp. dearly. The company was forced to close its 168-year-old News of the World tabloid, several key executives have been forced to resign, and a $12 billion deal to buy shares of British sky broadcasting satellite service collapsed. Additionally, investigations have been launched by authorities in the US. If those investigations show that wrongdoing has taken place in the United States, further criminal charges could be filed. At a minimum, US television licenses could be revoked.
Murdoch and his close friends control approximately 47 percent of the company's shares, so it is unlikely that he can be forced to leave without his consent. However, if Murdoch wishes for news Corp. to remain a viable and credible entity, he will be well served to listen.
© 2011, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Keywords: Rupert Murdoch, Los Angeles, shareholders, news Corp., Fox news, scandal
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