Murdoch's 'Angel of Death' descends
Friday 06 March 1998
Anthea Disney was locked in talks all day with the senior executives who Mr Murdoch said had left him in an "inexcusable position" after dumping Mr Patten's book East and West, which is critical of the Chinese regime. Ms Disney, chairwoman of News America publishing, parent company of HarperCollins, a woman often described by colleagues as a "corporate assassin", flew in from New York yesterday morning and immediately went into a meeting with Eddie Bell, chairman of HarperCollins, and other senior executives. Her arrival coincided with a decision by Mr Patten's lawyers to include Mr Murdoch personally in an action for breach of contract against HarperCollins.
The company refused to say why Ms Disney was in London but her presence fuelled speculation that sackings, resignations or mutual partings were imminent.
"She's not here to hand out tenners," said one HarperCollins source. Another said: "We're expecting the carpets to turn blood red. She's regarded here as something of an Angel of Death."
Ms Disney, a former British tabloid reporter, has a reputation for doing Mr Murdoch's more brutal bidding. Last year, she axed more than 100 American titles on the grounds that they were either late or no longer commercially viable.
"She only comes in once a year," said another HarperCollins insider. "And it's usually when there is a crisis of one form or another.
"The atmosphere is very jittery. People are very expectant and there is a widespread belief that a number of heads are going to have to roll."
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Leaked documents show Ukip leaders approve NHS privatisation once it becomes more 'acceptable to the electorate'
£38000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's best performing...
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...