Elisabeth Murdoch, the 42-year-old daughter of News Corp. (NWSA) Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch, is expected to be named to the company’s board, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The board met today in New York and Elisabeth’s appointment was expected to be discussed, said the person, who couldn’t be named because the matter isn’t public.
A week ago News Corp. completed the purchase of Elisabeth’s Shine Group Ltd., which produces hit U.K. shows such as “MasterChef” and “Merlin.” News Corp. agreed in February to pay 415 million pounds ($677 million), including debt, to purchase Shine, which it said will play a role in its expansion of global television operations.
After the acquisition was announced, News Corp. shareholders filed a lawsuit, claiming the deal was driven by nepotism. There is no reason for the purchase other than to reward Elisabeth Murdoch and perpetuate the family’s involvement in senior management, the Amalgamated Bank of New York and the Central Laborers Pension Fund said in the complaint.
News Corp. has said the lawsuit is “meritless,” according to company spokesman Jack Horner.
Elisabeth Murdoch is rejoining her 80-year-old father more than a decade after she started Shine. Prior to that, she worked as an executive at the U.K. pay-television company, British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc. (BSY), partly owned by News Corp.
Her brother, James Murdoch, 38, who also is a member of the board, was promoted last month to deputy chief operating officer at News Corp., after heading the company’s operations in Europe and Asia. The new position broadened his responsibilities to include the company’s entire global business, and moved him a step closer to succeeding their father as chief executive officer.
Another Murdoch son, Lachlan Murdoch, 39, left News Corp. in 2005 after serving as deputy COO, and moved from New York to Australia, where he is an investor in media companies. He remains on the News Corp. board.
News Corp. includes the Fox Television Network, the Wall Street Journal and the Twentieth Century Fox film studio in the U.S., as well as newspapers and digital television operations in Europe and Asia.
News Corp. fell 15 cents to $17.11 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The stock has climbed 17 percent this year.
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