Murdoch moves his chess pieces. Rupert Murdoch has set in motion the biggest management shake-up at News Corporation in years, reports the Financial Times and Media Guardian. His son, James, is to assume control of the group’s European and Asian operations and two trusted executives will lead Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal … The FT story – based on “people familiar with the matter” – also claims that Les Hinton, chairman of News International, will move to New York to become chief executive of Dow Jones in place of Richard Zannino. And Robert Thomson, editor of The Times, will be named shortly as the Journal’s new publisher. Hinton’s move had not been previously forecast, but there has been increasing speculation about Thomson moving to the Journal. Now, of course, the speculation surrounding his successor will go into overdrive. According to a piece by Stephen Brook on Wednesday, the man most likely to get the job is James Harding, the paper’s business editor. He was recruited from the Financial Times, by Thomson, 18 months ago and is regarded within the FT as an outstanding journalist. My understanding, from a source of my own, is that other possible candidates for the Times editorship were told of Murdoch’s decision almost two weeks ago. They included the deputy editor, Ben Preston, and both the Sunday Times editor John Witherow and its deputy, Martin Ivens. — Roy Greenslade, Guardian blogs

Bad news for PM Brown. Poor Gordon. It just got worse. The news that Daddy Rupert is making way for son James is not good for the PM. James MurdochYou see, the man formerly known as Britain’s most powerful tycoon was personally, if not always politically, sympathetic to the prime minister. Rupert Murdoch admires Gordon Brown’s personal morality and his commitment to hard work. What’s more, initially at least, Murdoch Senior was not taken with David Cameron. Not so the man we will now have to get used to calling Britain’s most powerful media tycoon. — Nick Robinson, BBC newslog

The heir apparent. The promotion of James Murdoch, the youngest of four children, marks a remarkable rise through the boardroom ranks for the only family heir inside News Corp, the US conglomerate chaired by his Australian-born father. The younger Murdoch, who assumes his London-based post with immediate effect, is in charge of assets including News International UK, Sky Italia, the Asian-based Star TV and News Corporation Europe … As chairman and chief executive of Europe and Asia, Murdoch will also oversee the Wall Street Journal Europe, The Times and The Sun as well as Australian publications controlled by News Corp. —

Not just nepotism. [James Murdoch] turned around Asia’s Star Television and in 2003 become a director at British Sky Broadcasting, turning it around as well. He grew revenue by 40 percent and broadened the company from pure play satellite TV to offer a triple play including broadband and phone service. He quickly proved that he wasn’t just there because of nepotism. He’s also considered a really forward thinker–he’s very green, making BSkyB an environmental leader in that it’s entirely carbon neutral. He’s also credited for turning Rupert onto the value of internet companies … My colleague Dennis Kneale insists that Lachlan is still the prodigal son, and that he’ll come home to rule the company some day. I have to disagree: it’s not that Lachlan won’t come back into the fold– he told me he was open to it–but between the fact that Lachlan hasn’t been involved in News Corp in the past two and a half years and this recent reorg, I think that the spotlight has surely shifted to James. — Julia Boorstin, Media Money (CNBC)

The moguls tap into financial information. With James Murdoch confirmed as the heir apparent of his father’s News Corporation business there is much speculation about the future of the media empire he is destined to run. Possibly the most significant indicator this year of the way in which News Corp will move has been the $5bn purchase of Dow Jones which includes the Wall Street Journal. The spending of more than three times as much, over $17bn, on Reuters by the Thomson Corporation has attracted much less attention… — Andrew Grant-Adamson, Wordblog