But as positioning the sons to take over is a different matter — one draws derision from Nell Minow, a Washington-based corporate governance expert. In a prior life, she rated boards of directors. The only reasons she gave Murdoch’s News Corp. an “F” was that she had no lower grade.
“He wants the capital of a public company but to run it like a private company,” she says. “It’s the worst of both worlds for shareholders.”
She notes he’ll keep a big title (“executive chairman of the board”) at 21st Century Fox, “so there’s no shred of an attempt to create the appearance of independence or relinquish authority. It’s ridiculous and means nothing.”
“It’s as if Queen Elizabeth took one of her 100 titles and gave it to Prince Charles. It doesn’t change the relationship.”
When I told NPR media writer David Folkenflik my “take my bags to the Whitehall” tale, he noted how Murdoch can be dismissive to one and all, including his children.
“But blood runs thicker than water,” said Folkenflik, author of “Murdoch’s World: The Last of the Old Media Empires.”
“Ultimately, it’s a family company, even if it’s not.”