Billionaire Ted Turner shared his thoughts on News Corp.’s ongoing phone hacking scandal in an interview with Bloomberg Television. Turner said that he feels News Corp.’s Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch may be seeing the end of this reign due to the scandal.
“I’m past retirement age now. So, I’m 72. That’s a little late to be running a corporation,” said Turner in an interview with Betty Liu. “Murdoch’s still doing it at 80, but for not for much longer, I’m afraid. I think he’s going to have to step down.”
News Corp. has come under fire from allegations that its News of the World publication gained access to private citizens’ mobile phones, and paid for police information. The parent company folded the tabloid back in July due to the public outcry and ongoing investigation.
“This is serious…It’s going against the law,” Turner said of the phone hacking scandal. “You know, not even Rupert Murdoch should be allowed to break the law. “
In July, the UK parliament called both Murdoch and his son, James, deputy chief operating officer of News Corp., to speak about their knowledge of the phone hacking activities of News of the World. Rupert Murdoch said he was not aware of the phone hacking or police payoffs.
Turner, who sold Turner Broadcasting , owner of CNN, Cartoon Network and TBS, to Time Warner Inc. in 1996, said that Murdoch’s answer wasn’t good enough.
“He should have known,” said Turner. “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.’ You never saw me get in that kind of trouble, did you?”
Turner and Murdoch had an infamous rivalry over the years with their competing media empires. News Corp.’s Fox News has been a fierce competitor to CNN, and the two moguls did not get along, until, Turner says, they made amends in 2010.
“I’m just, quite frankly, I’m very disappointed that this has occurred. A major media company should definitely be following the law, that’s all,” said Turner.