BSkyB Board Backs James Murdoch as Chairman

Parliament to rule he was “ill-informed” but not “mendacious,” according to the Guardian

The board of directors of British Sky Broadcasting, the News Corp.-owned satellite broadcaster, wrote a letter on Friday to the company’s shareholders asking them to re-elect James Murdoch as chairman.

The board said in the letter that Murdoch, who appeared before Parliament to testify about News Corp.’s phone-hacking scandal for a second time on Thursday, merits re-election given that the company has not suffered financially.

News Corp. owns 40 percent of BSkyB.

“We agreed that James Murdoch has done a first class job,” Nicholas Ferguson, BSkyB’s deputy chairman and senior independent director wrote. Ferguson added that he has acted with integrity in his time at Sky.

The thousands of cases of phone hacking at News Corp.’s now-defunct tabloid News of the World have tarnished News Corp.’s reputation in England and halted its attempted acquisition of the remaining shares of BSkyB.

Also Read: James Murdoch Denies Lying to Parliament, Refutes Mafia Comparison (Video)

But Murdoch, whose initial testimony was brought into question both by two former employees and a trove of internal documents, has continued as Chairman.

On Thursday, he again denied that he misled Parliament, and blamed the former employees for providing inconsistent testimony. The Guardian is reporting that Parliament will find him “ill-informed” but not “mendacious.”

Murdoch was one of several board members who received a substantial number of "no" votes from News Corp. shareholders when they voted on the board at their meeting in October. Their re-election was a foregone conclusion seeing as the Murdochs control 40 percent of voting stock.

No one expects Murdoch to lose his position in this case either, for the same reason.

Whether News Corp. will pursue its acquisition of BSkyB again in the future remains unclear.