NewsCorp shareholders revolt against Murdoch family

Following up on the contentious NewsCorp shareholder meeting where the independent shareholders were to express their displeasure with the crimes committed on the Murdoch family's watch: the majority of the independent shareholders voted against continuing James and Lachlan Murdoch (Rupert's sons) continuing employment as senior execs in the company. Due to NewsCorp's odd structure the Murdochs get to overrule their shareholders, but if the upcoming shareholder meeting for BSkyB goes the same way, it will see some serious Murdoch tail-kickage.

Michael Wolff, Murdoch biographer and author of The Man Who Owns the News, said it was now inevitable that James Murdoch would leave.

"James will probably go by himself, that's what everybody will be waiting for. I wonder too if Lachlan will step off the board. But could this drag on for another year? Yes."

Wolff said the size of the vote against Murdoch's son had created "a very difficult family moment..."

Tanner said the votes against the Murdoch sons and Bancroft showed shareholders were serious about wanting more independence at News Corp. "The overwhelming influence of the Murdoch family is not acceptable anymore," she said.


  1. While he [Murdoch] acknowledged the seriousness of the hacking scandal Murdoch described attacks on News Corp as “unfair” and said the company was the “stuff of legend.”
    In the same way Satan and his demonic minions are the “stuff of legend”. Whatever’s coming to them won’t be nearly as nasty as what they deserve. That politicians on both sides of the Atlantic cosied up to them is equally depressing.

    1. Some people’s moral myopia abilities are simply breathtaking.

      My most stomach-churning example thus far today is the money-quote from this bloomberg piece on the US pursuing the IDs of tax-evaders with secret Swiss accounts:

      “Attorney Robert Katzberg, who represents clients in criminal tax cases, said U.S. taxpayers with Swiss accounts don’t understand that the IRS and Justice Department will get a trove of new data on secret accounts.“There are thousands of Americans, who are the functional equivalent of residents of New Orleans on the eve of Hurricane Katrina, who have no idea that Katrina is about to happen,” said Katzberg, of Kaplan & Katzberg in New York.”

  2. The Murdochs are cut from the same cloth. Rupe still owns or controls over 50% so nothing is going to change… 

    If I was a cynical bastard I would tell you that you can’t teach that old dog new tricks, (like fairness, integrity, decency and respect for the truth,) but I’m also a OLD cynical bastard so, while I don’t discount Rupe’s being struck blind like Paul of Tarsus, I will tell you that his entire life’s experience was been going in the other direction, towards being an even worse cock-biter.

  3. What? No story about the odd stock structure of Berkshire Hathaway? The Class B stocks at Berkshire carry precisely 1/200th the voting rights of the Class A stock, and 1/30th the dividends. Non voting stock is neither odd nor unusual and almost every corporation of any wealth uses it as a tool to prevent hostile take-overs. 

    1. It turns out that, in fact, not every story about malfeasance by right-wing plutocrats needs a mention of Warren Buffet, who somehow ended up with the arduous task of being The sinister plutocrat of the left, for balance.

      Now, if Berkshire Hathaway turns up a juicy story of unbridled malice, corruption, and shameless influence-peddling, and the sinister leftist media masters of deceit fail to notice, we’ll have a story…

    2. How randomly and entirely off topic of you. Could you tell me which of Warren’s companies have breached the privacy of public officials and private citizens in at least two western democracies? Which of those scandals caused Warren himself to be called before the government to be questioned by the legislature itself?

      Also, I thought George Soros’ was your devil.

    3. Dividends? Berkshire Hathaway doesn’t pay dividends, and its class A stock has never split. IIRC, when class B shares were created, the class A shares sold for $30,000– making it rather difficult to invest in the company, or even to sell off shares. So class B shares were created to lure the smaller investor.  (Class A trades at $113630.00; class B (which has split multiple times) at $75.

      The class system at News Corporation is designed to leverage a minority position into control of the company. Have a look at the chart

  4. “The overwhelming influence of the Murdoch family is not acceptable anymore.”

    Last I checked, they owned a controlling interest in the company.  My suggestion is that if you don’t like that, sell your shares.  I think they’re evil but don’t think that means there should be special rules for how their property is handled.  They controlled it when you bought the shares, they made the company into that evil empire that it is, you thought it was good when you bought in and you can’t change your mind about that and try to weasel them out of the picture now.  Accept it or move on!  Hopefully after losing a bunch of money for having invested in satan’s company.

  5. Due to NewsCorp’s odd structure the Murdochs get to overrule their shareholders

    They’re all dicks, but there’s no “odd structure” that allows the Murdochs to “overrule” their shareholders. They are also shareholders, and they control a very large percentage of the stock.

    Some 34% of shareholders voted against Lachlan Murdoch. After subtracting the shares controlled by Rupert Murdoch, 67% of the votes went against James Murdoch and 64% against Lachlan

    It may be that second sentence that’s confusing, but that’s just an aside. Including Murdoch’s votes, only 34% of shareholders voted against Lachlan Murdoch.

    Sure, you can argue that the head of the company shouldn’t have more votes (it might be compared to the current President being allowed to cast 1000 votes in an election), but unfortunately, that’s what being an owner means: he owns a controller proportion of the voting shares.

  6. It would be nice if outrage of Newscrap shareholders overpowered their greed and they dumped the stock.

    Look what is happening to Netflix.  They aren’t even evil, just greedy and stupid.

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