Murdoch admits sensationalism

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The Independent Online
RUPERT MURDOCH has more in common with the Queen than he thinks, having revealed in a surprisingly frank interview for television that he is not ready to be succeeded by his children.

The comments - about his succession (as he calls it) as head of News Corporation - press intrusion, the royal family, politics and marriage, come in an interview for a Channel 4 documentary entitled The Real Rupert Murdoch, to be broadcast on 21 November.

The writer and director, Simon Berthon, was allowed access to sources very close to the media tycoon.

The assertion that his children, Elisabeth, James and Lachlan, will have to wait to inherit his company is unlikely to surprise. Asked what they would do if he retired he says: "Die pretty quickly."

But Mr Murdoch is candid about his broken marriage to Anna, acknowledging that work and his dedication to it probably ended the marriage.

"I had a very good marriage for a long time which has sadly come unstuck. But that is my fault in so much as I want to stay doing what I'm doing as long as I'm physically fit, regardless."

In response to charges that his papers debase culture and intrude into privacy, he almost concedes. "Had we tended to sensationalise some [stories]? Yes. I think so. Sometimes too much I would agree. But ... everyone does it, whether they are making chewing gum or television sets, the idea is to sell as many as possible."

n Gerald Long, former chief executive of Reuters, the international news and information group, died of a heart attack at his Paris home yesterday. He was 75.

In 1981 he became managing director of Times Newspapers and was deputy chairman of News International for two years from 1982. Moving to France, he was director of Maxwell Media from 1987 to 1989.