Murdoch: I’m Not Immortal

05 February 2003

Rupert Murdoch has admitted he will one day have to step down as the head of News Corporation – though he has no plans to do so in the near future.

In an interview with US magazine Fortune, the 71-year-old media mogul – who previously talked of continuing until he is 100 – declared: “I don't know what the time frame will be. Will I be as fit, as intelligent and mentally agile as I am today in 10 years? That's a lot to expect.

“If I feel that way, I'll stay on. On the other hand, if they [his children] knock on the door and say, Dad, you're losing it – which they would not shrink from – I'll go.”

His comments came as NewsCorp confirmed reports that Murdoch’s wife Wendi Deng is expecting the media baron’s sixth child.

However, the impending arrival of a baby does not seem to have diminished his appetite for business. Murdoch revealed he plans to stay on as long as possible, not least to make one last big deal. “We're not in the business of deals at the moment. Except for one. That'll be the big exception.”

The “one” in question is almost certainly US satellite TV firm DirecTV – which he has been eyeing for two years – or its rival EchoStar. Such a purchase would complete Murdoch’s dream of a worldwide satellite broadcasting empire.

As for the next few months, Murdoch is confident NewsCorp can see out the current downturn. “I have a pretty optimistic medium and long-term view but things are going to be pretty sticky until we get Iraq behind us.

"But once it's behind us, the whole world will benefit from cheaper oil, which will be a bigger stimulus than anything else.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff