Prediction that Lachlan Murdoch will run US side of News Corp empire

If Rupert Murdoch wins his bid to acquire the Wall Street Journal, it is expected that he will offer his son Lachlan the job of running News Corp’s vastly expanded American operation.

That is the prediction of the New York Times, which has been taking a “new look” at the Murdoch family. At the moment Lachlan, who is 35, is running his own company in Australia – although he is working from the News Corp offices in Sydney.

If he isn’t offered the top job in the US – or can’t be persuaded to move back to America – the NYT speculates that the top job might go to his brother James, 34, who at the moment runs Britain’s BSkyB TV service.

As for the other Murdoch children, the NYT suggests most of them, although close to their father, are happy in the jobs they are doing – particularly Elisabeth, 38, who owns a burgeoning TV production business in London and is credited with persuading her father to buy the American rights to the show that became American Idol and is now the most popular TV show in the US.

Others in the family still active in the news business include Murdoch’s eldest daughter Prudence, 48, who is married to a senior executive in the company’s Australian newspapers, originally founded by Murdoch’s father.

Elisabeth Murdoch, or Liz as she is known in the family, recalled for The Times the days when the whole family would sit around the breakfast table and even as children discuss the day’s news with their father.

She was particularly determined to dispel the suggestion that her father had taken serious newspapers such as The Times in London downmarket after buying them

“Completely untrue. it’s absolute nonsense. He has respected media assets across the board and imbued new life into them,” she said.

As for who will take over after Murdoch, who is now 76, he has consistently said he would eventually like one of his children to succeed him as head of the News Corp empire. So far, though, he has not designated an official successor.

Whatever happens in the next few months, the whole family is planning a get-together in Australia two years from now to celebrate the 100th birthday of Murdoch’s mother, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch.

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