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Elisabeth Murdoch has 'no ambition' for News Corporation top job

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Elisabeth Murdoch has insisted that she has "absolutely no ambition" to succeed her father Rupert Murdoch as the head of media giant News Corporation.

Speaking in a Q&A session after delivering her speech at the Edinburgh TV Festival, she said that she has no interest in the "top job".

Elisabeth Murdoch

© PA Images / Ian West/PA Archive

Rupert Murdoch

© PA Images



Elisabeth said that it had been a "nightmare year for the family", although she also accepted that it had "not been as difficult for us as for the people who have been victims or Milly Dowler's parents".

She told delegates at the session that she advised her brother James Murdoch to step down as executive chairman of News International in the wake of the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World.

She also advised that the then News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks should resign.

"It was said within closed walls and Rebekah did resign," she said.

James has also since left the company, although he remains News Corp's deputy chief operating officer.

However, Elisabeth said that she did "absolutely not" say as reported that Brooks and James Murdoch had "f**ked the company". This, she claimed, was fabricated by the media.

Rebekah Brooks gives evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee

© PA Images / PA/PA Wire

James Murdoch

© PA Images



In her MacTaggart speech on Thursday night (August 23), Elisabeth came out in support of the licence fee funded BBC, in stark contrast to comments made in the same speech by her brother three years ago.

She also hit out at companies that pursue profits at the expense of moral integrity, in what was viewed by some as an attempt to put some clear air between her and the troubles at News Corp.

But Elisabeth, who sold her Shine Group production company to News Corp last year for £415m, said that she has no desire to succeed her 81-year-old father as chief executive of the media empire.

"I really harbour no ambition for that top job you referred to," she said.

She said she was "pleased" that her father had told a Parliamentary select committee investigating phone hacking last year that giving evidence was "the most humble day" of his life.

"I know he absolutely meant it and it was, if I'm honest as a daughter, heart-breaking," she said.

Asked why she decided to give the MacTaggart lecture, Elisabeth said that she wanted to make sure "not everybody is tarred or marked with the same brush".

She also denied claims that the Murdoch dynasty was like a "soap opera", instead insisting that they "are a very close family".

Elsewhere in the Q&A session, Elisabeth discussed her decision to attend Stanford University to study. To this, her father apparently responded: "You don't need a f**king MBA. Go to Sky and learn about digital television."

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