It's a Family Affair

Murdoch is battling Malone to keep a tight grip on News Corp.--and benefit heirs, if not shareholders

In a boardroom struggle that is as much about legacy concerns as about control, media titans Rupert Murdoch and John Malone are sparring over the prized assets of News Corp., which include the Fox TV group, publisher HarperCollins, filmmaker 20th Century Fox and satellite-TV firm DirecTV. Malone, 63, wants to resuscitate his image as a brilliant dealmaker and operator. Murdoch, 73, who has offices secured by fingerprint ID technology and keeps a tight rein on the company he built, is driven to pass on the business to his children.

Shareholders might wonder if they are anything more than an afterthought. News'...

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