James Murdoch: the rise and fall of a News Corp scion | Michael Wolff | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
So, father and son negotiated: the deal they struck was that if James agreed to come inside News Corp, the company would begin the process of bidding for the rest of the shares of BSkyB that it didn’t own – which would, ultimately, put James in charge of the whole megillah.
Initially, Rupert didn’t want to tie up all the cash the BSkyB deal would require; nor did he want to have another fight with British regulators. But James was adamant. Most persuasively, he argued that with BskyB, combined with all the other satellite, pay TV assets in Europe and Asia, James would be among the most powerful people in the world television industry – and an obvious and worthy, even inevitable, successor at News Corp.
When he moved over to Wapping, the headquarters of News Corp’s British subsidiary, News International, a major part of James’ job became planning for and shepherding the BSkyB acquisition. The other big part of his job was to fend off the executives in America, and the ill-will they always bore toward Murdoch children, at least until he got the big deal done and solidified his position. (There had already been an internal kerfluffle when Murdoch mentioned, rather by-the-bye, that it was going to be James and not, as planned, Rebekah, who would run international operations. As it happened, I was the person Murdoch told, one weekend morning when I was interviewing him in his New York apartment; and I passed the news on to his closest executives.)