James Murdoch steps down as head of News International

The younger Murdoch had been in the firing line over the company's response to the phone-hacking scandal.

The line coming from News Corp, the parent company of all Rupert Murdoch's businesses, is this is no big deal. James Murdoch is deputy COO of News Corp and his move to New York has been long planned. News International, which runs News Corp's British newspaper holdings, is a fairly small part of the Murdoch empire, so resigning that title is to be expected.

They can spin it any way they want but you can't tell me that on July 1st of last year that was the plan.

Over the next two weeks, the phone-hacking scandal exploded. The younger Murdoch's big play: taking over 100 percent ownership of British satellite broadcaster BSkyB was halted. He is no longer the heir apparent to take over running the Murdoch empire when his 80 year old father, Rupert, decides to step aside.

This has been a bad week for the Murdochs here. They launched the Sun on Sunday to replace the News of the World which they closed last summer. Almost immediately the focus of the Leveson Enquiry into the scandal shifted to The Sun and more dark revelations and accusations have been made.

Yesterday, Jacqui Hames, a former detective and host of a BBC true-life crime show, alleged the News of the World had intimidated her and her then husband, also a detective, and had interfered with a murder investigation he was involved in.

If the allegation is true than it may provide even more ammunition for the FBI to bring charges against News Corp in America under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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