Elisabeth Murdoch: The savvy, skill and style to head up the empire

More than seven years ago, Rupert Murdoch gave an interview to The New York Times in which he dwelt on the multiple talents of his second daughter Elisabeth, whom he named after his beloved mother. "She will probably sell Shine for a bloody fortune to someone," he said of her television production company, which was then less than three years old. "And then she will come knocking on the door, and she will be very welcome."

The scenario that the old media mogul has clearly been kicking around for a very long time became a reality yesterday, with Mr Murdoch adding Shine to his News Corp empire.

In her own interview with The New York Times, almost three years ago, Elisabeth Murdoch was asked if she could foresee a day when she returned to work for her father. "Yes I could," she responded. "Do I know how, or when, or what shape that would take? No. I don't really ever want to leave Shine. So I don't know how it would happen one day, but it's certainly not out of the cards."

Early last year she told The Guardian of the maternal bonds she felt towards her production company. "It is my vehicle, it's representative of me. I never want to not be part of it," she said, stating boldly: "I'm not leaving in 12 months' time." A year on, Ms Murdoch has played her hand, with the result that she seems to have joined up with the family business without letting go of her baby.

Elisabeth Murdoch, 42, is a remarkable woman, irrespective of her surname. So influential has she become in London circles that the society magazine Tatler declared her "the world's most powerful blonde" in 2007. She has managed to charm the British television industry, where a metropolitan and invariably liberal consensus prevails, while never losing the admiration of her father.

Although Shine has maintained a relationship with Sky, where Ms Murdoch worked previously, she has proved herself as a media entrepreneur. "She's quite clearly able to build a great company from scratch," said an industry observer. "It's quite possible that she could run [News Corp] in the UK. She could do that, though whether she would wish to is the big question."

As the wife of the public relations man Matthew Freud, Ms Murdoch is half of one of the power couples of London society. The Freuds hosted the London fundraiser for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Guests at Ms Murdoch's 40th birthday party at an Oxfordshire priory included David Cameron, George Osborne, David Miliband, Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson. After the party, the Freuds flew to the Greek Islands and hosted a controversial dinner for Mr Blair and Rupert Murdoch on board their yacht, the Elisabeth F.

Educated at an elite college in New York state, Ms Murdoch worked first for her father's cable television company FX Networks. When he predicted Shine's sale in 2003, he was delighted with the performances of his sons Lachlan (then deputy chief operating officer of News Corp) and James (then chief executive of BSkyB). Asked if he wanted his children to succeed him, he commented: "I think it is a very, very human motive to see your work carried forward by one of your own."

Since then Lachlan has left News Corp, while James struggles to contain the ongoing scandal of phone hacking. Now he has another family option.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

SharePoint Administrator/Developer (C#, VB.NET, VISUAL STUDIO 2

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: SharePoi...

European HR Director, London

£80000 - £95000 per annum: Charter Selection: A leading Global organisation Ja...

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit