Danny Rogers on PR: The fierce battle for BSkyB is far from over

Monday 07 March 2011 01:00
Comments
Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch

News Corp's bid to take control of BSkyB is a fierce communications, lobbying and legal battle taking place at the very highest level.

Driving the comms behind News Corp's bid has been its group director for strategy and corporate affairs, Matthew Anderson. The 45-year-old Californian, a former PR agency chief, has become established as James Murdoch's right-hand man, ably assisted on the media side by Alice Macandrew and company lawyers Allen & Overy.

News Corp does not retain PR consultants but can call on a formidable network of advisers close to "the family", not least Matthew Freud, who is married to Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth and has the most powerful network in London. The subject must come up at various dinner tables. All of the above are known to be close to key Conservative politicians, right up to David Cameron.

On the other side is the "anti" alliance of media companies such as Associated Newspapers, Guardian Media Group and Telegraph Media Group who oppose a more powerful News Corp. Efforts are co-ordinated by the PR firm Weber Shandwick's chairman for corporate comms and public affairs, Jon McLeod. He is a former financial and legal journalist and now a very powerful lobbyist.

To complicate things further, BSkyB itself has issues of corporate reputation and deal price to address. Here, the hugely influential Roland Rudd, who runs Finsbury PR, is heavily involved, reporting directly to Sky's board.

Although the takeover is being widely reported as a done deal, those close to negotiations still see it is a fifty/fifty battle. One of the "anti" alliance tells me "It's not over yet by a long way, the devil really can be found in the detail."

Danny Rogers is editor of PR Week

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in