British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY), the U.K.’s largest pay-TV broadcaster, opened an inquiry into some of its journalists at the Sky News channel as it prepares to face investors next week.
BSkyB asked its London-based law firm Herbert Smith LLP to examine e-mail records for half a dozen journalists extending back to 2005, spokesman Robert Fraser said today via phone.
BSkyB opened the probe ahead of the company’s annual general meeting on Nov. 29 where Chairman James Murdoch is seeking re-election. Murdoch, also the deputy chief operating officer of BSkyB’s biggest shareholder News Corp. (NWSA), has faced calls from some investors to step down over his links to News Corp. and the phone-hacking scandal at the New York-based company’s U.K. tabloid News of the World.
“There has been no suggestion of any impropriety at Sky News,” Fraser said. “We remain committed to the highest standards.”
Murdoch has the support of shareholders, BSkyB Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Darroch said last week. At the meeting, the company plans to appoint two independent directors to its board to replace retiring members.
BSkyB fell as much as 19 pence, or 2.6 percent, to 706 pence and traded at 713 pence as of 1:07 p.m. in London, giving the company a market value of 12.5 billion pounds ($19.5 billion). News Corp., which owns 39 percent of BSkyB, scrapped a plan to buy the remaining stake in July in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal.
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