For a second year in a row, News Corp. annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday involved a lot of shareholders firing disapproving questions at Rupert Murdoch, only to re-elect him and the companies 13 other board members. It wasn't a quiet victory. Protests ranged from criticism of Murdoch's Twitter feed to the share structure that ensures the Murdoch family stays in control of the $59 billion media conglomerate. Despite all the outrage over how Murdoch is running things, though, only 3.5 percent of News Corp. shareholders voted not to re-elect him as chairman.
This is kind of surprising since the main thrust of the protests involved Rupert Murdoch and his family's dominance over News Corp. operations. The proposal that garnered the most attention would have required the board to have an independent chair -- i.e. not Rupert Murdoch or any of his kids -- and managed to win 30 percent of the vote. Ironically, they would've had a majority if the Murdoch family itself didn't control 40 percent of the voting shares, another 7 percent belongs to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a friend of the family. This imbalance has not gone unnoticed by shareholders who also proposed a measure that called for restructuring of the shares in order to loosen the Murdoch family's iron grip on the company. It failed.