James Murdoch remains chairman of British pay-tv giant BSkyB amid a phone-hacking scandal at the group’s biggest shareholder News Corp, it said on Friday after unveiling a 23 percent jump in annual profits.
“Following the withdrawal of the News Corporation proposal, the board will return to normal processes. James Murdoch remains chairman,” BSkyB said in the earnings release.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. was forced earlier this month to scrap its bid for control of BSkyB in the face of a growing scandal over newspaper phone-hacking at his News of the World tabloid newspaper in Britain. The crisis had sparked calls for Rupert’s son James to resign the chairmanship of BSkyB, but the company’s board gave him their unanimous support at a meeting late on Thursday.
BSkyB, which broadcasts live English Premier League football and blockbuster movies, added that it now has 10.3 million household subscribers, a proportion of whom pay monthly fees to access its Internet broadband and telephone services. “This has been a year of outstanding operational and financial results for Sky,” said James Murdoch in Friday’s statement. “It is to the credit of Sky’s first-class management team that the company has continued to deliver throughout the offer period that ended earlier this month.
Faced with intense political and public pressure over the phone-hacking scandal, News Corp called off its bid for the 61 percent of shares in the satellite broadcaster that it did not already own on 13 July.