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James Murdoch resigns as BSkyB chairman

(Xinhua)

13:14, April 04, 2012

LONDON, April 3 (Xinhua) -- James Murdoch has resigned as chairman of the major British satellite broadcaster BSkyB on Tuesday.

James Murdoch, the son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, said he would step down as non-executive chairman, but remain as non-executive director.

BSkyB is 39.1 percent owned by News Corporation (NC), the parent company of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

The resignation is the latest development in a series of resignations and scandals over newspaper ethics and practices which has hit NC and its subsidiaries, particularly in Britain and which is a threat to its global business interests.

In July last year, James Murdoch announced that the News of the World (NOTW) paper, the largest circulation Sunday newspaper in Britain, would close as a result of revelations that it had been involved in hacking the voicemail messages of a murdered schoolgirl.

He resigned as the chairman of News Group Newspapers, which owns The Sun, The NOTW, the Times and the Sunday Times in November last year, and in February this year he stepped down as the executive chairman of the British newspaper division of NC, News International (NI).

James Murdoch said in a statement released Tuesday afternoon, "As attention continues to be paid to past events at News International, I am determined that the interests of BSkyB should not be undermined by matters outside the scope of this company."

There are currently separate investigations into the ethics and practices of the media in Britain and into the activities of journalists at Murdoch's British newspapers.

James Murdoch is succeeded as chairman of BSkyB by Nicholas Ferguson, who was appointed as a director of the company in June, 2004 and previously served as deputy chairman and senior independent non-executive director.

Tom Mockridge, who joined the board in February 2009, has been appointed as deputy chairman.

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