October 25th, 2011
01:35 PM GMT
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Hong Kong, China (CNN) – Shareholder support for the 15-member board of News Corp. is being questioned after the company’s annual meeting in Los Angeles.

Last Friday’s votes – only now publicized – reveal the less-than-stellar outcome for CEO Rupert Murdoch and his sons, James and Lachlan.

Murdoch’s sons appear to have been the lightning rods for shareholder anger. The anger stems from the hacking allegations of the now-defunct News of the World tabloid - which was owned by News Corp.

Shareholders shamed James Murdoch, News Corp’s deputy COO, the most. A full 35% of votes for re-election to the board went against him. His older brother Lachlan, who had resigned from his last executive role in 2005, didn’t do much better, with 34% of the no votes going his way. Rupert - the Chairman, CEO and patriarch - did much better than his progeny. Only 14% of all shareholders voted against him - although this was one of his lowest levels of approval in years.

The Murdochs will, however, remain on the News Corp. board. Despite shareholder disapproval, the entire board was re-elected.

But there is an important caveat: A full 47% of News Corp. votes are controlled by the Murdoch family and its allies.

Breaking that down, family members own 40% of the votes. Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a very staunch supporter, controls 7% of the vote. As for non-aligned shareholders? They make up the remaining 53%.

So if we took away those pro-Murdoch votes, we get a much different – and more negative – picture of what independent shareholders are actually thinking.

The Wall Street Journal found that James Murdoch’s 35% disapproval would jump to 75%. Lachlan’s 34% would jump to 72%. And Rupert’s 14% would climb to 30%.

If it wasn’t for the Murdoch family’s controlling share, James and Lachlan might very well have been voted off the News Corp board.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. arthur uzo

    The World will soon snub him as well. The last remaining earth nonsense.

    October 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  2. walter Oakley

    Seems like the same approval rating that the Allstate Insurance folks got. at their last stockholders meeting. The gadflies must be taking a stand for political correctness.

    October 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  3. mark

    let the shareholders speak with their wallets if they are that pissed at the situation. sell your shares and walk away. if the stock plummets as a result, then justice has been served.

    October 25, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  4. apasci

    The last 5 paragraphs of this story are utterly useless and irrelevant. Rupert Murdoch founded this company, thus was always in control of how many shares the public ever got a chance to buy. Therefore the amount of shares listed for members of the public, if he wanted to retain control, would have never allowed for a situation where his family lost control.

    October 25, 2011 at 7:49 pm |
  5. Snooze of the World

    Good thing they don't run a whorehouse! It looks like if the Murdoch boys tried to get service, the only hookers that would service them would be family members. Hack. A very fitting word indeed! Or, in this case, hacks.

    October 25, 2011 at 10:20 pm |
  6. The Oracle

    Broadcasting over the public airwaves is a privilege not a right.......Murdoch and all of his enterprises should lose their licenses to broadcast over the public airwaves in all host countries. Ethical behavior is a requirement of holding a FCC license in America and everywhere else that counts. Criminal charges or conviction are not necessary to rightly and justly revoke a broadcast license. It is the solely judgement of the FCC.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:44 am |
  7. The Oracle

    .Murdoch should be arrested and prosecuted for violation of the RICO Act...engaging in a criminal enterprise...punishable by life in prison,...which he sorely deserves. This is one very evil unethical deplorable excuse for a human being...besides being a criminal.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:45 am |
  8. The Oracle

    The shareholders should be held accountable too. They profited from Murdoch's many decades of unethical criminality.
    They should lose everything they invested...at the very least....I mean what if this was "murder for hire" scheme they were profiting from? "I didn't know" would be an excuse? Criminality is criminality....the shareholders own the goddamned company....and they'll be the first to make that claim....With ownership goes responsibility.

    October 26, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  9. MN Man

    Last I checked, "hacking" in to ones phone is a federal crime, yet only a fine is paid. OF COURSE!


    October 26, 2011 at 3:22 am |
  10. Rosetta Stone

    Rupert – the Chairman, CEO and patriarch – did much better than his progeny.

    October 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  11. Rosetta Stone outlet

    The anger stems from the hacking allegations of the now-defunct News of the World tabloid – which was owned by News Corp.http://www.audiorosettastone.com/

    October 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm |

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