Sky & James Rupert Murdoch


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Sky & James Rupert Murdoch

James Rupert Jacob Murdoch was born on the 13th December 1972 in Wimbledon London. He is the fourth child and youngest son of the world's most powerful media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s who has six children. He is a British citizen by birth and a naturalized U.S. citizen and would also be entitled to Australian citizenship if he so wished due to his father’s original nationality. He was educated in America and studied film and history at Harvard University but never completed the course and dropped out in 1995.

He married Kathryn Hufschmid in 2000 and they have three children, Anne (2003), Walter (2006), and Emerson (2008). His wife works for the Clinton Climate Initiative, a charitable foundation set up in 2006 by Bill Clinton the former U.S. president. James Murdoch is a avid cyclist and was the driving force behind Sky team's Tour de France victory in 2012. He also holds a fifth dan black belt in karate. On the 29th February 2012 James Murdoch resigned as chairman of News International, (which included the ill-fated ‘News of the World’ tabloid), when it was claimed that some journalists had been hacking into celebrities mobile phones and the phone of Milly Dowler, the murdered schoolgirl.

On the 3rd April 2012 he also resigned his position as chairman of BSkyB in the wake of the ongoing phone-hacking scandal, but remained on the board.

Mr Murdock was heavily criticised by the Broadcasting regulator Ofcom for his “failure” to take action, which they stated was “difficult to comprehend and ill-judged” and that Mr Murdoch “repeatedly fell short” of the conduct that was expected of a chief executive and chairman. Ofcom also concluded that both Rupert and James Murdoch should ultimately be prepared to take responsibility for wrongdoing at the News of the World and News International. In 2014 a £7 billion deal took place when the former BSkyB merged with its two sister broadcasters, Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland and became known as Sky, Britain's foremost subscription television broadcaster. In June 2015 Rupert Murdoch named his son James as his successor as chief executive of ‘21st Century Fox’, whilst his eldest son Lachlan was named co-executive chairman alongside his father. Seen as the brightest of Rupert Murdoch’s children it is widely accepted that James Murdoch is his father’s heir-apparent.

Fox, the hugely profitable US movie making business, already owns 39.6% of Sky but would like the other 61%. Fox was forced to give up on its previous £8 billion bid for Sky UK in 2011 and this latest move by James Murdoch has only fuelled further rumours that another bid to take full control of Sky could be just around the corner. If this was to happen it would finalise Rupert Murdoch's ambition to head an integrated global media empire.. Earlier this year, on the 29th January 2016, James Murdoch then became the chairman of Sky after he was the sole candidate put forward to Sky’s board by the nominations committee. It is widely recognised that the greater your international reach, the more powerful you will become and that is why Sky is investing a great deal into original programming which keeps it moving forward at a very fast rate and has increased its worth enormously.

In the second half of 2015 Sky‘s revenues were up 5% to £5.72billion, while operating profit rose by 12% to £747m. Encouraged by Sky’s results the ‘City’ saw the company’s share price rise by 2.2% at the beginning of this year. And whilst increasing subscribers is always welcome it is clear that Sky is more keen on diversification because it is well aware that its existing customers are more than willing to pay for good quality original content. By taking up the chairmanship of Sky James Murdock’s has become one of the most powerful and influential figures in European television and as chief executive of the American company 21st Century he will have great control over the future of Sky content.

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