James Murdoch to oversee Fox Networks Group: report
LONDON — News Corp is planning to give James Murdoch responsibility for its US television businesses, the Fox Networks Group, the Financial Times reported in its Friday edition.
Murdoch, who is already deputy chief operating officer of News Corp, will oversee the group which includes the national Fox network and cable channels such as FX and National Geographic, as part of an expanded role, the newspaper said.
But he will not have control over News Corp’s lucrative Fox News Channel, which is a separate entity.
The Wall Street Journal has carried a similar report on its website, citing sources close to the matter.
Peter Rice, the Los Angeles-based head of Fox Networks Group, will report directly to Murdoch, son of News Corp’s chairman Rupert Murdoch, both newspapers said.
The reports come after Britain’s media regulator on Wednesday blasted the younger Murdoch for failing to uncover the hacking scandal at his father’s media empire.
Ofcom had been reviewing whether pay-TV giant BSkyB, which is 39-percent owned by News Corp, was “fit and proper” to hold a broadcasting license in the wake of the scandal.
The watchdog allowed BSkyB to keep broadcasting but said its former chairman James Murdoch “repeatedly fell short” of his responsibilities as executive chairman of his father’s British newspaper wing, News International.
“We consider James Murdoch’s conduct, including his failure to initiate action on his own account on a number of occasions, to be both difficult to comprehend and ill-judged,” it said.