LONDON: Murdoch clan scion James (pictured) has consolidated his position as heir apparent to the News Corporation crown following his elevation to head of the media empire's UK, Europe and Asia operations.

The role will include control of NewsCorp's British newspapers such as The Sun and The Times and the Asian satellite business Star TV.

Murdoch (34) is currently ceo of British satellite giant BSkyB, another NewsCorp unit.

His 2003 appointment to the post by his father, Rupert, was criticised at the time, but he has strengthened the company through expansion into broadband and telephony and increased subscriber numbers.

He will be succeeded at BSkyB by cfo Jeremy Darroch but will stay on as non-executive chairman, a post held at the moment by Murdoch senior.

NewsCorp is putting in place major management changes as it finalizes its $5 billion (€3.4bn; £2.4bn) acquisition of Dow Jones and its flagship title, The Wall Street Journal.

Dow Jones ceo Richard Zannino is to leave the company following a transition period. He is reportedly to be joined in the departure lounge by WSJ publisher Gordon Crovitz. They will be replaced by trusted Murdoch lieutenants.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff