Hacking Scandal Starts to Hem In Rupert Murdoch’s Empire – NYTimes.com
Inside News Corporation, the hacking scandal has consumed an increasing amount of attention. Mr. Murdoch, a hands-on manager who likes nothing better than to talk about his newspaper coverage, has spent the last several weeks preparing for the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics in Britain, being overseen by Lord Justice Leveson.
Joel I. Klein, hired by Mr. Murdoch to lead News Corporation’s education initiatives, and Gerson A. Zweifach, a Washington lawyer hired as the company’s in-house counsel, have led the preparation, according to people close to the company and familiar with Mr. Murdoch’s schedule.
At least temporarily, two of Mr. Murdoch’s adult children, James and Elisabeth, have both been put at a distance from important corporate decision making in the aftermath of the scandal. Elisabeth, known for her acumen in television programming (she is credited with persuading her father to broadcast “American Idol”), withdrew from joining News Corporation’s board in August amid widening investigations into the company’s British operations and criticism about nepotism on the company board.
James, once considered his father’s heir apparent, resigned as chairman of BSkyB this month, and has since spent time in Los Angeles meeting with studio executives to discuss ideas for making content more readily available digitally. He has also spent time in India and China, far from News Corporation’s power base in New York, according to several people familiar with the company who were not authorized to discuss James’s whereabouts.