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News Corp.'s James Murdoch Steps Down as Executive Chairman of U.K. Publishing Unit TVWeek

News Corp. announced today that James Murdoch, the son of News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, has resigned from his position as executive chairman of the company’s U.K. publishing unit News International.

News International CEO Tom Mockridge will retain his post and will report to News Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey, the company announced.

James Murdoch has been under pressure in the phone-hacking scandal that has focused mainly on News Corp.’s U.K. tabloids, as previously reported. Information surfaced in the past few months that indicated he may have known more about the extent of the phone-hacking activity than he had previously admitted.

In the past few days, news broke that News Corp. had settled a lawsuit filed by singer Charlotte Church in connection with the phone hacking for close to $1 million, as reported earlier this week.

Commenting on James Murdoch’s announcement, Rupert Murdoch said in a press release: “We are all grateful for James' leadership at News International and across Europe and Asia, where he has made lasting contributions to the group's strategy in paid digital content and its efforts to improve and enhance governance programs. He has demonstrated leadership and continues to create great value at Star TV, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, and BSkyB. Now that he has moved to New York, James will continue to assume a variety of essential corporate leadership mandates, with particular focus on important pay-TV businesses and broader international operations.”

James Murdoch added: “I deeply appreciate the dedication of my many talented colleagues at News International who work tirelessly to inform the public and am confident about the tremendous momentum we have achieved under the leadership of my father and Tom Mockridge. With the successful launch of The Sun on Sunday and new business practices in place across all titles, News International is now in a strong position to build on its successes in the future.”