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James Murdoch declines $6 mil bonus

News Corp. scion cites fallout from scandal; Rupe earns $33.3 mil in fiscal '11

In the continuing fallout from the phone-hacking scandal, News Corp. has shuffled a few seats on its board of directors, and James Murdoch disclosed that he would decline the $6 million bonus he was to be awarded for the company’s 2011 fiscal year ended June 30.

“While the financial and operating performance metrics on which the bonus decision was based are not associated with this matter, I feel that declining the bonus is the right thing to do,” Murdoch, News Corp.’s deputy chief operating officer, said in a statement.

News Corp. on Friday also disclosed that long-serving board members Kenneth Cowley and Thomas Perkins will exit its board of directors after the company’s annual meeting, set for Oct. 21 in Los Angeles, while venture capitalist Jim Breyer, a partner in Accel Partners, has been nommed for a seat.

The corporate activity came on the heels of News Corp.’s annual proxy statement detailing compensation for top News Corp. execs, including chairman Rupert Murdoch, COO Chase Carey and Fox News chief Roger Ailes.

Rupert Murdoch pulled in a total of $33.3 million in salary, bonuses and stock awards for fiscal 2011. The haul included a $12.5 million cash bonus awarded in recognition of his skill at navigating “the recent economic downturn (and) positioning the company for long-term growth and ongoing strategic development.”

James Murdoch was to have taken in a total of $17.9 million, including his $3 million annual salary and the $6 million bonus approved by the board’s compensation committee.

Carey’s pay package totaled $30.1 million, including a $10 million bonus. But Carey also adjusted the terms of his contract with the company to drop his salary to $4 million, from $8.1 million in fiscal 2010.

Ailes’ compensation for the year finished out at $15.5 million.

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