James Murdoch’s understanding with his father has been that, at an imminent time, he would take the next step in the family succession by moving to New York from his post in London where he runs the European and Asian operations of News Corp.
On James’ timetable, that should be happening already. Indeed, he keeps trying to insert himself into the New York business with an especially impatient hand. Late last year, James helped push his father’s PR lieutenant, Gary Ginsberg, out of the company, and tried to install his own PR factotum, Matthew Anderson, in his place (his father fired Ginsberg, but has resisted Anderson). The recent public attack on Roger Ailes by Murdoch’s son-in-law, Matthew Freud, had, according to a News Corp. intimate, “James’ fingerprints all over it.” But the more pushy James becomes, the more his father stalls. One industry figure who socializes with the Murdochs believes that Wendi Murdoch, James’ stepmother, is counseling her husband to keep James cooling his heels.
James’ very public confrontation last week with Simon Kelner, boss of the London newspaper, the Independent, over the paper’s attack on the Murdoch organisation’s coverage of the British election, apparently hasn’t helped his cause with his father, either.
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