The smart money is betting that James Murdoch will hang on to his job as chairman of BSkyB tomorrow when the board reviews his fitness to oversee the UK pay TV giant. Directors will discuss Murdoch at its first gathering since at least two News Corp executives contradicted a key point in James’ testimony to Parliament last week regarding what he knew — or didn’t know — about the extent of phone hacking at his company’s News Of The World: He said that he didn’t know that more than one reporter was involved in hacking when he authorized an astronomical $1.4M payment to a hacking victim — on the condition that he remain quiet. A former NOTW editor and lawyer say that they sent James an email that showed others were involved and that the payment would help to obscure the extent of the problem. Sky Deputy Chairman Nicholas Ferguson has talked to James about the matter and said he supports Murdoch, the Guardian reports. “The board is understood to be satisfied that there is support for the chairman” among major BSkyB shareholders, the paper adds. The Murdoch family controls about 40% of the voting shares. Another investor, Crispen Odey of Odey Asset Management — who owns 2.7% of BSkyB — told The Telegraph that he supports Murdoch. But he wants the family to give up one of the seats it controls on the board; six of the 14 directors work either for News Corp or BSkyB. In addition to discussing Murdoch’s future, the board is expected to approve a $4.2 billion one-time dividend.
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