LONDON -- Once his father's heir apparent, James Murdoch stepped down Tuesday as chairman of British Sky Broadcasting, surrendering one of the biggest jobs in the Murdoch media empire in a bid to distance the broadcaster from a deepening phone-hacking scandal.
James Murdoch's credibility and competence have come under severe questioning because of the phone hacking crisis and alleged bribery by British newspapers while he was in charge, and he faces further questioning in the scandal.
Tuesday's announcement was just the latest in a string of setbacks for James Murdoch, who has been shedding titles since the scandal heated up.
At the end of February, he quit as chairman of News International, the company's troubled British newspaper subsidiary, a move cast as allowing Rupert Murdoch's younger son to focus on News Corp.'s extensive TV holdings.
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He has also stepped down from the boards of auctioneer Sotheby's and pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline.