James Murdoch: Is Rupert's son Next to Go?


"My overall view is that it is very unlikely that any of senior management including James can survive," Raines said.

Wolff agreed it's time for new blood. "This company has a fine future. There's nothing wrong with the company per se," he said.

But it's clear the company will change going forward, and the closing of News of the World is just the beginning. The entire newspaper division, which the Murdochs built their fortune on but has been seen lately as an expensive indulgence by independent board members, could be at stake.

There's also talk in Britain of doing away with the vertical integration of media ushered in by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher 30 years ago, which allowed Murdoch to buy newspapers, production companies and a stake in British Sky Broadcasting.

The U.S., which has launched an FBI investigation, could consider similar moves.

"I think it's the end of an era," Raines said.

He thinks the moneymaking movie and television studios and television networks will exert more influence going forward.

But he said the editorial future of Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, especially during the upcoming presidential election, are "very much in question" given the credibility issues being raised about News Corp in general.

As for Fox News' wily chairman and Rupert Murdoch's close ally, Roger Ailes, Raines said, "Don't rule him out. Ailes is the real survivor. He could come out of this on top."

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