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We all knew it was coming: James Murdoch may “take a breather” from News Corp.”The company is still trying to operate as if James isn’t going anywhere,” said a high-ranking insider told Reuters. “But everyone is thinking about what will happen if he has to step aside.”
News Corp. officials and Rupert Murdoch denied the report, saying through a representative that it was “absolutely not true.”
James, long tapped as the successor to father Rupert, has been underfire since The News of the World scandal started to blow up.
He is currently News Corp’s deputy chief operating officer and chief executive of News International. He is planning to move to New York early in 2012 and News Corp. officials still claim he’s the heir apparent, but Reuters’ sources hear there’s a good chance he will take a break.
The move, if it does occur, could actually help James ascend to the top spot eventually. He could fly under the radar for a while and then return.
“Even if he did step out of the spotlight for a while, that wouldn’t necessarily mean he wouldn’t come back when things are quieter,” a source tells Reuters.
Let the chess game for the future of News Corp. continue.