According to Felix Salmon at Reuters, News Corp's independent directors are "not happy" with Murdoch's handling of the phone hacking scandal and are "questioning the company's response to the crisis and whether a leadership change is needed." Bloomberg reports:
News Corp.'s independent directors, who hold nine of 16 board seats, have expressed frustration over the quality and quantity of information they've received about the scandal and concern about management's ability to handle the crisis given how slowly the company has responded, the person said.
Some directors said Murdoch, the company's 80-year-old chairman and chief executive officer, appeared to be in denial over the fallout from the scandal in an interview he gave last week to the Wall Street Journal, one of News Corp.'s newspapers.
Salmon adds that News Corp shares continue to fall despite rumblings of a leadership change from within the company:
Independent directors constitute the majority of News Corp's 16-person board, and so in theory have significant power over Murdoch's future. If they are talking about "a leadership change," shouldn't that help boost the depressed News Corp share price? Instead, it continues to fall today.
There are two reasons why the massive Murdoch discount built in to the News Corp share price refuses to go away and indeed is increasing. First, the markets still don't believe there's a real chance he'll actually relinquish his position as CEO. And second, he'll still control the company even if he does.