Emperor Rupert Names Scions as Joint Heirs

12 June 2002

In a far-ranging interview with the London-headquartered Financial Times earlier this week, Rupert Murdoch revealed a change of heart regarding the succession to his throne.

Formerly gifted to eldest son Lachlan by dint of age seniority, the 71-year-old media mogul, who became a father for the fifth time last year, is now preparing the world (and Wall Street in particular) for a pair of filial butts on an enlarged throne.

Murdoch extolled to the FT the executive abilities of both sons, but especially those of James Murdoch since he took control of Star TV, the pan-Asian satellite broadcaster. Said fond Pop: “I think they are very close and they will get on extremely well. It [the future leadership] will be more shared than it seems at the moment.”

Meantime, NewsCorp’s president and chief operating officer Peter Chemin retains his unofficial role of prince regent should there be an act of regicide or other intervention by the grim reaper.

Remaining in regal mode, Murdoch – a guest in the royal enclosure at last week’s Golden Jubilee bash for Queen Elizabeth II – turned his attention to Britain's monarchy. Although proclaiming himself a “republican in theory”, he said he is “not about to take to the ramparts” to overthrow the House of Windsor.

However, he opined: “I do not think the British monarchy would survive a bad monarch. Someone who could not hold his tongue on politics. It would be gone pretty quickly.”

Which is “seemingly not the case for media moguls,” noted one adland cynic, recalling Murdoch’s highly publicized threat to use his UK media to campaign against Britain's adoption of the euro [WAMN: 11-Jun-02].

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff