Sky TV’s Murdoch quits for start-up

Elisabeth Murdoch, the managing director of Sky Networks, is leaving BSkyB to set up a UK-based media venture.

Elisabeth Murdoch, the managing director of Sky Networks, is

leaving BSkyB to set up a UK-based media venture.



Murdoch, who was responsible for Sky’s programming business, leaves the

company at the end of June after four years. She joined in March 1996 as

general manager.



Murdoch had been expected to take over at the helm of BSkyB eventually

but said she had been considering a move for some time. Exact details of

her new company were not available although it will specialise in

television, film and new-media content.



Murdoch has already been linked to other start-up ventures and in

January she joined the advisory panel of an internet incubator fund,

Oxygen Holdings, which floated in February.



BSkyB said its director of broadcasting, Mark Sharman, would take over

on short-term basis while a replacement for Murdoch is sought.



Commenting on her move Murdoch said: ’I have enjoyed my four years at

Sky enormously. It is a company that I have been proud to work for and

contribute to. I have had the privilege of working with some of the best

TV executives and it is with some lament that I leave such a winning

team. However, now is a great time to pursue something that I have been

thinking about for some time.’



Murdoch is the latest in a string of senior executives to leave the

company.



Mark Booth, the former chief executive of BSkyB, left a year ago to set

up a new-media company called e-partners, backed by News

Corporation.



Booth had been expected to stay for at least another two years until

Murdoch stepped up.



Tony Ball, the chief executive of BSkyB, said: ’Murdoch has been pivotal

in the company’s creative development. Under her direction our channels

have thrived and led the way in the multi-channel world. We have

launched major new film and TV divisions, attracted leading talent both

in front of and behind the camera and invigorated our brand through our

latest marketing campaign.’



Before joining Sky, Murdoch held positions at the Nine Network Australia

and Fox Television in the US.



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