Rupert Murdoch probably thought that, at 80, he could ride off into the sunset and leave News Corporation in good hands—those of his trusty assistant, Robert Thompson, and his son James, who is being moved to the US from the UK to become the firm’s number three. Murdoch has built one of the most remarkable media empires around through a combination of brashness and acumen rarely encountered in the past couple of decades. (Unfortunately, he’s also created Fox News, a true force for evil and that bane of American politics, but that’s another discussion.)
But things are not going so smoothly here in the UK, and it may have ramifications for how the organization develops going forward, and indeed whether it will survive in its current form. Because the long-simmering scandal over phone-tapping by reporters for one of the Murdoch stable of newspapers here, News of the World, now looks set to explode, and it’s not clear the damage can be contained.