The Corner

Rupert Murdoch’s Successor Named?

According to Bloomberg:

News Corp. is considering elevating Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey to chief executive officer to succeed Rupert Murdoch, people with knowledge of the situation said.

A decision hasn’t been made and a move depends in part on Murdoch’s performance before the U.K. Parliament today, said the people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Murdoch would remain chairman, the people said.

News Corp. executives who watched Murdoch, 80, rehearse for his appearance had concerns about how he handled questions, according to three people, who weren’t authorized to speak publicly. Murdoch and his son James are scheduled to discuss the company’s role in the alleged phone hacking of murder victims, members of the royal family and others by the News of the World, which was closed on July 10.

“This will be a heavily reviewed performance,” said Laura Martin, an analyst with Needham & Co. in Pasadena, California. “Who would have thought this could happen two weeks ago?”

Who, indeed. But if this morning’s performance is anything to go by, this may well be a good decision; Rupert is certainly playing second fiddle to his son, James. Not only has James taken the lion’s share of the questions, but on a couple of occasions has stepped in when his father appeared to be floundering. The cynic would say that this is typical good cop, bad cop, with James on the attack, and Rupert showing the contrition. But in reality, Rupert does look tired.

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