New Murdoch atop Sky Italia

James takes over for Rupert at sat TV platform

ROME -- James Murdoch officially took the reins at News Corp.'s Sky Italia subsidiary Wednesday, replacing his father, media mogul Rupert Murdoch.

The move is part of a trend: Piersilvio Berlusconi took over day-to-day operations at Mediaset in May when his father, Silvio, became prime minister for the fourth time.

Sky Italia is News Corp.'s biggest holding in continental Europe. In its five-year history, Sky Italia has emerged as a rival to Mediaset and Italian state broadcaster RAI.