LONDON — Ted Turner has called on Rupert Murdoch to stand down as head of News Corp. in the wake of the phone hacking and police corruption scandal.
Interviewed Tuesday by Bloomberg TV’s Betty Liu, the founder of CNN, who has fallen out Murdoch in the past, said that Murdoch is “going to have to step down,” and that “he should have known” about the interception of voicemails at the U.K. tabloid the News of the World.
I’m past retirement age now. So, I’m 72. That’s a little late to be running a corporation,” Turner said.
Murdoch’s still doing it at 80, but for not for much longer, I’m afraid. I think he’s going to have to step down.”
He hadn’t survived anything like this…This is serious… It’s going against the law. You know, not even Rupert Murdoch should be allowed to break the law. Nobody should….
He should have known. I mean, he was chairman of the board. He’s responsible. I took responsibility when I ran my company. You never heard me say, ‘Well, I didn’t know.’
You never saw me get in that kind of trouble, did you?”
In the interview he claims he has made it up with Murdoch: “I did, and I still have made amends. I’m just, quite frankly, I’m very disappointed that this has occurred.
A major media company should definitely be following the law, that’s all. And when they break the law and certainly, it’s already been admitted that News of the World broke the law. So, there’s no question that the law was broken.”
He added: “The question is how big a scandal is it. And they’re investigating that now, and we’ll know soon enough. But in the mean time, you know, you are innocent until you’re proven guilty. And I believe in that, too.”
Turner’s differences with Murdoch date back to 1983 when a Murdoch-sponsored yacht collided with the CNN creators boat during a Sydney-to-Hobart race.
At the post-race dinner Turner attacked Murdoch, reportedly challenging him to a televised fist-fight in Las Vegas.
Subsequently Fox News eclipsed CNN, becoming the most successful cable news web in the U.S.
Turner accused Murdoch of being “a warmonger” for supporting President Bush’s invasion of Iraq.