Murdochs' Father-Son Feud Raises Succession Doubts
Will James Murdoch take over, or will his differences with his father derail him
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2011 12:30 PM CDT
James Murdoch and Rupert Murdoch are seen during the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham, England, March 18, 2010.   (AP Photo/Barry Batchelor/PA, file)

(Newser) – Rupert and James Murdoch have done a good job of projecting unity throughout News Corp’s phone hacking scandal, but behind the scenes there’s a growing tension between them, sources tell the New York Times. James Murdoch became a powerful figure in the company by heading its European and Asian wings, creating his own miniature executive hierarchy. His “promotion” to deputy COO actually resulted from an ultimatum: “This is one company, not two,” the elder Murdoch reportedly said. “You’re coming back to New York, or you’re out.”

Among the main sources of tension: the phone hacking scandal occurred on James' watch, he doesn’t share Rupert’s love of newspapers, and his decisions haven’t always pleased dad. Rupert was furious, for instance, when the Sun ditched its longstanding support of the Labour Party to back Conservatives, because it cost him his longstanding friendship with Gordon Brown and made News Corp enemies in parliament. The tensions have raised doubts about the patriarch’s successor—as daughter Elisabeth, unscathed by scandal, jockeys in the background and the question lingers as to whether News Corp can survive with a Murdoch at the helm at all. Still, insiders tell the Times that the top job will still likely go to James. Click here for the lengthy piece.