Rupert Murdoch dialed a zero in efforts to add daughter Elisabeth to the News Corp board in the midst of the Peter Chernin negotiations, Richard Siklos is reporting at Fortune.com. Sources tell Siklos Liz turned down the opportunity to join her father and brothers James and Lachlan on the News Corp (NYSE: NWS). board not out of a lack of interest, but because of the possible impact on her UK production company Shine Limited.
She owns 63 percent of Shine, which, as Siklos notes, relies considerably on the 25 percent of budgets major British broadcasters are supposed to spend on indies without ties to broadcasters. News Corp controls BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) and various Sky and Fox channels. Siklos: “If she had wanted to rejoin the News board, Liz would have had to sever her ties with Shine, which presumably would have involved selling it, perhaps to News Corp.” Instead, he reports that she attended Tuesday’s News Corp board meeting as an observer.
To be sure, in many ways she is the Murdoch best suited to add some of what News Corp. will miss when Chernin leaves as COO and president in June. She has a keen sense of entertainment and business and could be seen leading the LA based-businesses that will be reporting directly to her father. (Shine acquired Ben Silverman’s Reveille last year.) But, as Siklos also points out, in addition to Shine, she and husband Matthew Freud also have six children based in the UK.