Women in Television: Elisabeth Murdoch

Nov 16, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Who: Elisabeth Murdoch, chairman and CEO, Shine Group

Women in TV

Why: As the worldwide ping-ponging of programs and formats accelerates, Ms. Murdoch, who founded Britain’s Shine Group in 2001, looks well-positioned to compete with the major studios. Just how deeply does Shine have its tentacles into the U.S. TV marketplace? On Thursdays alone this fall, viewers could watch ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” switch to NBC for “Kath & Kim” and “The Office,” and then return to ABC for “Life on Mars,” an American remake of Shine’s British hit. Shine had a piece in all. Many of those shows, of course, came with Shine’s $125 million-plus purchase in February of Ben Silverman’s powerhouse independent production company Reveille, augmenting Shine’s already impressive roster of U.K. production houses and its distribution arm.

What: Ms. Murdoch, daughter of News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch, is—with her husband, public relations executive Matthew Freud—a fixture on London’s social scene, but she rarely gives interviews. In her April keynote speech, “Creativity Without Borders,” at the Mip international TV sales market in Cannes, France, she made a nod to her father, saying (according to the Guardian): “It would be disingenuous of me not to acknowledge that I have been mentored by a very brave individual from a very young age, but the courage I have been taught lies not in bravado but in curiosity—in the power of ideas, and in the power of an open mind.”

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