Sunday, July 31, 2005

"Luke - I Am Your Father..."

Perhaps it was the Champagne Cocktails consumed last night that offered a moment of clarity regarding news that the News Limited heir apparent apparently doesn't want the top job.

NEWS Corporation deputy chief operating officer Lachlan Murdoch has resigned his position as one of the world's most powerful media executives and will move from New York to Australia.

News chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch announced last night that his eldest son had decided to resign from his executive roles


Although we concur with Murdoch junior's wish to live in Australia (who wouldn't), we believe there's a major likelihood young Luke will return to the dark side and this move is more strategic than personal. After all, News Corp is locked out of further expansion in Australia by media ownership laws. What better way of getting hold of more assets than by saying you're not a part of a company which already has too much?

Besides, it's a good time for Lachie to be buzzing around the Aussie corridors of power - with the Federal Coalition now with a majority in both Houses of Parliament it would seem to be the ideal time to review cross media and foreign media ownership rules.

There is still a lot of resentment locally that Rupe cast off his Australian citizenship to enable his US media expansion, and we've been expecting a King Lear type implosion as competing family members (ex-wife, new wife and the passel of kiddies) fight for the reigns of the kingdom even before the patriach's body has cooled.

We suspect young Lachlan will go back to the media business in Australia (the smart money's on technology, the One.Tel debacle not withstanding) and build a multi-billion dollar company, perhaps around media and content sharing across electronic platforms, thus providing the means by which News Corp can create a further stranglehold on world media.

-- Nick and Nora

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