Billionaire Ted Turner said News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch will probably have to leave the helm of his media company after a phone-hacking scandal that began at one of its newspapers.
“I think he’s going to have to step down,” Turner, 72, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. “He hadn’t survived anything like this. This is serious.”
News Corp. has come under fire this year over allegations its News of the World tabloid hacked into the voice mails of murder victims and paid police for stories. The public outcry forced the company to close the 168-year-old London newspaper and drop its $12.2 billion bid for full control of British Sky Broadcasting Group.
Murdoch and his son James, deputy chief operating officer at News Corp., were called before U.K. parliament in July to answer questions about the scandal. The elder Murdoch’s statements that he didn’t know about phone-hacking or police payments aren’t sufficient, Turner said.
“Well, he should have known,” said Turner, who sold his Turner Broadcasting — owner of CNN and TBS — to Time Warner in 1996. “He was chairman of the board. He’s responsible. I took responsibility when I ran my company. You never heard me say, ‘Well, I didn’t know.’”