James Murdoch returns as Sky boss four years after fall

"The board has appointed James Murdoch to succeed Nicholas Ferguson as chairman" Sky said in a statement on Jan 29, 2016.
"The board has appointed James Murdoch to succeed Nicholas Ferguson as chairman" Sky said in a statement on Jan 29, 2016.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

LONDON (AFP) - Global media magnate Rupert Murdoch's son James will return as chairman of British broadcaster Sky, the company said on Friday (Jan 29), nearly four years after he was forced to leave due to a phone hacking scandal.

"The board has appointed James Murdoch to succeed Nicholas Ferguson as chairman," the company said in a statement to the London Stock Exchange.

Mr James Murdoch served as chairman between 2007 and 2012 but quit over a scandal involving the phone hacking of celebrities and crime victims by the Murdoch-owned tabloid News of the World.

Mr James Murdoch had been executive chairman of his father's British newspaper publishing arm.

The News of the World weekly newspaper was shut down.

The paper's former editor Rebekah Brooks was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the voicemail interception by journalists but was cleared of all charges in 2014.

Last year, she was appointed to head up Mr Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper publishing arm, which owns The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times.

Mr James Murdoch is currently chief executive officer of 21st Century Fox, the jewel in the crown of his father's media empire which owns 39 per cent of Sky.

Sky offers pay television and Internet services in five countries: Austria, Britain, Germany, Ireland and Italy.