James Murdoch quits as News International chairman

JAMES Murdoch has quit his job as executive chairman of News International, in a move that cements his exit from the British newspaper industry and his recent relocation to parent firm News Corp’s New York headquarters.

A News Corp statement said his departure would allow him to concentrate on the company’s expanding global television branches.

Murdoch Junior will remain as deputy chief operating officer at News Corp and chairman of BSkyB.

In the last year, the outgoing Murdoch has overseen the closure of the News of the World amid an ongoing investigation into illegal phone hacking, and he has appeared twice in front of a parliamentary inquiry into the matter.

James Murdoch resigned as chairman of News Group Newspapers, the holding company of News International’s publications, in November.

His resignation yesterday comes hours after News Corp president Chase Carey indicated that the board has looked at the possibility of selling the group’s newspaper unit. But he said the focus “right now” was on improving their profitability.