James Murdoch backed by BSkyB board: source

28th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

The board of BSkyB gave chairman James Murdoch their "unanimous support" Thursday, a source close to the British satellite broadcaster said, despite calls for him to quit over the phone-hacking scandal.

"The role of the chairman was discussed at some length today and ultimately James Murdoch received the unanimous support of the board," the source told AFP after a BSkyB board meeting.

"James Murdoch will be remaining as chairman of BSkyB. That will be confirmed in our results tomorrow morning."

BSkyB is set to announce Friday an annual operating profit of £1.0 billion (1.13 billion euros, $1.63 billion) for the 12 months to the end of June, according to analysts' consensus forecast.

The 38-year-old son and heir apparent of News Corporation boss Rupert Murdoch has faced calls from some shareholders to resign over the phone-hacking scandal at Britain's News of the World newspaper.

James, who is also chairman of his father's British newspaper operation News International, came under further pressure last week when when two former News of the World executives challenged his testimony about what he knew of the extent of phone-hacking.

Last year News Corp. announced plans to add to the 39 percent of shares it owns in BSkyB, purchasing the remaining stock for £7.8 billion, despite opposition from media rivals on competition grounds.

But they dropped the offer on July 14 as lawmakers were about to pass a rare cross-party motion calling on Rupert Murdoch to do so amid the hacking scandal.

© 2011 AFP

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