A secretly taped recording of News Corp boss Rupert Murdoch has revealed who might succeed the octogenarian as head of the family media empire.
Speaking at a meeting at the Sun newspaper, Murdoch said either his son Lachlan or News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson would likely take the helm should anything happen to him.
News Corp shareholders have previously urged Murdoch – whose family trust owns around 40% of the company’s voting shares – to name his successor.
Murdoch’s response to the succession question is revealing for its exclusion of James, who was widely regarded as Murdoch’s successor, but whose reputation was heavily tarnished by News Corp’s phone hacking scandal.
Murdoch met with around two dozen journalists from The Sun newspaper, who had been implicated in the tabloid’s bribery of police and public officials, in March when the secret recording was made.
Murdoch spends the bulk of the meeting voicing his anger at the phone hacking investigation and criticising the police.
The Sun’s sister publication News of the World was closed in 2011, after 168 years, when it was caught routinely tapping into the phones of people in the news – including victims of crime and celebrities.
A full transcript of Murdoch's meeting was released on investigative news website Exaro on Wednesday and a recording broadcast on Channel 4 News that evening.