Murdoch: 'I'm convinced of my immortality'

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The Independent Online

Rupert Murdoch gave his shareholders a boost and his enemies a scare yesterday by joking that his successful treatment for cancer had convinced him that he was immortal.

Rupert Murdoch gave his shareholders a boost and his enemies a scare yesterday by joking that his successful treatment for cancer had convinced him that he was immortal.

On a more serious note, Mr Murdoch also said that the recent cancer scare had not changed his plan to remain head of his global empire,which includes The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and the News of the World, and the controlling share of BSkyB.

The 69-year-old chairman and chief executive of News Corp said his treatment for low-grade prostate cancer was finished and that doctors believed that radiotherapy was successful.

He said undergoing the nine-week treatment, which involved a 10-minute session a day, had not caused him to revise his thoughts on remaining in the top position at News Corp. "It convinced me of my own immortality," Mr Murdoch quipped. "But seriously, it hasn't changed any plans."

Mr Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth recently left Sky Television, where she was managing director, to start a new venture, the details of which are still hazy. His sons Lachlan and James are senior executives at News Corp.

In September last year Mr Murdoch said that Peter Chernin, the president and chief operating officer at News Corp, would take charge when he did eventually retire, but added that either Lachlan or James could share the position with Mr Chernin. "They all get on well, and Peter is joining in the training and mentoring of them. He is my trusted right hand and my friend," he said.

Yesterday News Corp reported a net profit of £115mfor the fourth quarter, which ended on 30 June, against £134m a year ago.

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