News Corp. investors seeking to curb Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch's authority will use tomorrow's annual meeting to press for reform, looking to persuade a board they can't force to act.

Christian Brothers Investment Services Inc. will introduce a resolution to separate the chairman and CEO roles held by Murdoch, 80, who has run the New York-based media company for more than five decades. The California Public Employees' Retirement System, the California State Teachers' Retirement System and Institutional Shareholder Services all have taken stances aimed at loosening Murdoch's control.

At least five investor groups and two proxy advisory firms have called on Murdoch and his two sons, Deputy Chief Operating Officer James and Lachlan, a former News Corp. executive, to step down. The rare confluence of dissent is unlikely to compel change, since Murdoch owns about 40 percent of the Class B voting shares and an ally, Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, holds 7 percent. The goal is to convince the board that reform would instill confidence on the part of investors.

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