News Corp board backs Murdoch | News | DW | 02.05.2012
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News Corp board backs Murdoch

The board of News Corp has said it has 'full confidence' in its chief executive Rupert Murdoch after he came under fire from a British parliamentary select committee.

News Corp.'s board of directors on Wednesday gave its CEO Rupert Murdoch its full backing, a day after a British parliamentary committee had described him as unfit to head a major global company.

"The board based its vote of confidence on Rupert Murdoch's vision and leadership in building News Corporation, his ongoing performance as chairman and CEO, and his demonstrated resolve to address the mistakes of the company identified in the Select Committee's report," it said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the House of Commons committee had issued a scathing report on News Corp.'s handling of the phone-hacking scandal at its now-defunct UK tabloid News of the World. The 121-page report concluded that the firm exhibited willful blindness and that Murdoch and his son James should take responsibility.

It also concluded that "Rupert Murdoch is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company."

News Corp. called the comments "unjustified and highly partisan." It also pointed out that the committee itself was divided on whether to include the remarks.

The scandal erupted in July 2011 after it was revealed that the News of the World had accessed the voicemails of a murdered schoolgirl. It has already led to the arrest of tens of News Corp. staff in Britain.

The case has also prompted calls for action against Murdoch in the United States. An activist group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics has asked the Federal Communications Commission to revoke the 27 Fox broadcast licenses that News Corp. holds in the US.

In its letter, the group said broadcast frequencies may be used only by people of good "character."

Murdoch's position as CEO of the New York-based global media group is virtually unassailable owing to a stock structure that gives him and family members most of the voting shares.

tj/mz (AFP, Reuters)