* James Murdoch to be News International executive chairman * New Sun editor to be named during the summer
(Adds details, background)
By Paul Sandle
LONDON, June 23 (Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp (NWSA.O) named Rebekah Wade, editor of British tabloid The Sun, as chief executive of its British newspaper arm News International from Sept 1.
News Corp said on Tuesday Wade would continue to report to James Murdoch, News Corp’s chairman and chief executive Europe and Asia, who will also become executive chairman of News International from the same date.
Wade, 41, has edited top-selling tabloid The Sun for more than six years, and before that was editor of Sunday red-top The News of the World for three years.
In her new role she will assume responsibility for The Times, The Sunday Times, The News of The World, and free sheet thelondonpaper, as well as The Sun.
A new editor for The Sun will be named over the summer.
Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corp, said Wade was a great campaigning editor. “Her promotion reflects the importance of journalism to this business.”
Wade’s tenure as editor of The News of the World was marked by her campaign to name and shame paedophiles — a move which led to reprisal attacks, including against an innocent paediatrician.
However, she managed to maintain the circulation of the title more succesfully than her rival red-top editors, and was rewarded with the editorship of The Sun in 2003.
James Murdoch took responsibility for News Corp’s UK titles in December 2007, when Les Hinton moved across the Atlantic to head Dow Jones, publisher of The Wall Street Journal.
The shake-up will free Murdoch from day-to-day operations at News International and enable him to spend more time on News Corp’s pay-TV interests, including Sky Italia, Germany’s Premiere and Star TV in Asia.
James Murdoch, the third child of the 78-year-old media mogul, had been viewed as heir to the group, but the appointment of industry veteran Chase Carey as Rupert Murdoch’s top lieutenant earlier this month made the succession less clear cut. [ID:nN03400010]
Carey, 55, becomes News Corp’s vice chairman, president and chief operating officer on July 1, and will supervise the company’s global operations, which include newspapers, satellite TV networks and the MySpace social network. (Editing by Dan Lalor and Hans Peters)