Murdoch daughter splits from family fold

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The Independent Online

Elisabeth Murdoch, the daughter of media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, has announced that she will leave the satellite TV operation British Sky Broadcasting this summer to set up her own company.

A statement on BSkyB's Web site said she would step down in June as managing director of Sky Networks, in which her father's News Corp. owns a 40 per cent stake.

It said she would set up her own British-based company specialising in television, film and new media programs.

"At Sky, I have had the privilege of working with some of the best television executives around and it is with some lament that I leave such a winning team," Murdoch said in the statement. "However, now is a great time to pursue something that I have been thinking about for some time."

It was not immediately clear whether her father would have any connection to the new venture.

Elisabeth Murdoch, 31, joined BSkyB in 1996 and had overall responsibility for its programming business. She is on the board of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc and the executive committee of News. Corp.

Tony Ball, BskyB's chief executive, praised her contributions, saying she was "pivotal in the company's creative development."

"Under her direction, our channels have thrived and led the way in the multi-channel world," he said. "We have launched major new film and television divisions, attracted leading talent both in front of and behind the camera to our network, and invigorated our brand through our latest marketing campaign."

Rupert Murdoch's two sons, Lachlan and James, also are involved in the family business. It has been decided that Lachlan should eventually be the one to succeed his father, though Murdoch has said he has no plans to retire as chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp.