(Reuters) – It was one of many strange moments in a hearing rich in absurdity. As British lawmakers questioned Rupert Murdoch last month over whether his News of the World journalists broke the law by hacking into mobile phones, the 80-year-old Australian-born boss of media giant News Corporation began to reminiscence about his late father.
Member of Parliament Damian Collins tried to get the hearing back on track, but Murdoch, sitting beside his son James, the head of News Corp’s non-U.S. interests, continued: “That just addresses the question of it being a family business. I would love to see my sons and daughters follow that route — if they are interested.”
What Murdoch’s children are interested in may no longer matter.
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From Business Spectator:
The abrupt change in News Corp’s tactics as [it] tries to bring some semblance of control to the maelstrom it is experiencing in the UK hints at a longer-term problem for Rupert Murdoch and his succession plans.
On Wednesday News withdrew its undertaking to spin off Sky News from BSkyB enabling the UK government to refer its proposed bid for the pay television operator to its Competition Commission and ensuring that any final decision on the bid would be deferred for at least six months and probably closer to a year.
That appeared designed to avoid any immediate decision on the bid within an atmosphere of extreme hostility towards News and therefore to preserve the potential for another tilt at BSkYB once the heat eventually dies down.