Huge Shareholder Protest Vote Against Murdochs

35 percent of votes go against James Murdoch

After a brief delay, we've got the final tally of shareholder votes from the News Corp. annual meeting last week, and it may be even more embarrassing for the Murdoch family than initially anticipated

Fourteen percent of the votes cast opposed re-electing Rupert Murdoch to the board of his own company. Thirty-five percent of the votes went against his son James Murdoch, who's been a big public face for the company during the phone hacking scandal. James' brother Lachlan fared only slightly better—34 percent of the votes cast were against his re-election.  

The totals look worse when you consider that the Murdochs control some 40 percent of the voting shares of the company, and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who owns a significant portion of the stock, is allied with the family. According to Wall Street Journal Marketplace editor Dennis K. Berman, if you don't include the votes from the Murdochs and Alwaleed, "75 percent of shareholders withheld their votes from James and Lachlan Murdoch."