19 Oct 2013

Murdoch survives attempt to oust him

10:33 am on 19 October 2013

A group of disgruntled shareholders has failed to oust Rupert Murdoch as chairman of his new TV and film conglomerate, 21st Century Fox.

At the company's annual general meeting in Los Angeles on Friday, Mr Murdoch, his sons Lachlan and James, and other members of the company's 12-person board were elected.

Mr Murdoch, 82, was never in real danger of losing his role as chairman to an independent candidate as the Murdoch family controls about 40% of the company's voting rights, AAP reports.

However, the disgruntled shareholders, who point to the phone hacking scandal at Murdoch's former British tabloid News of the World, have collected significant support.

At a similar vote last year approximately two-thirds of independent shareholders voted in favour of an independent chairman, they said.

"For the board to ignore such an overwhelming shareholder mandate we believe shows a disregard not only for shareholders, but also corporate governance," Tim Shayer, an investment adviser for Christian Brothers Investment Services, which led the call for Mr Murdoch to be replaced by an independent chairman, told the AGM.

21st Century Fox board member Viet Dinh told the meeting said the combined chairman-CEO role ensures strong and consistent leadership and appropriate accountability.

Mr Murdoch's News Corp media empire was split into two companies earlier this year, with 21st Century Fox holding its vast TV and film assets.