Railing against the roaring ’90s

Variety editorial

There are growing signs that corporate shareholders are getting restless. And so are some of the corporate oversight groups, which are looking askance at policies that were standard operating procedure in the roaring 90’s.

Rupert Murdoch has a firm hold on News Corp., but shareholders in British satcaster BSkyB are making a lot of noise over the fact that Murdoch’s 30-year-old son James has been automatically slated to succeed departing CEO Tony Ball.

They want a wider range of candidates to be considered and they’re being heard.

Also this week, angry institutional investors in Carlton Communications, Britain’s soon-to-be-merged ITV commercial broadcaster, managed to persuade Michael Green to resign as chairman-elect of ITV. Green is the sort of forceful media maverick who, a decade earlier, would have won the day.

Another portent: The new head of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, William McDonough, this week blasted excessive corporate compensation, terming it morally indefensible.

Excessive compensation is morally indefensible? Surely they can’t be talking about showbiz.

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