Lachlan Murdoch meets Israeli politicians, media execs

Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch  photo: Reuters
Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch photo: Reuters

Rupert Murdoch's son may be considering entering the local market.

Lachlan Murdoch, son of US media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, held a series of meetings last week in Israel with key media figures and politicians, sources inform "Globes." Lachlan Murdoch, 43, was appointed last year joint chairman of News Corp, alongside his father, and exercises supreme authority in the company. The people Murdoch met included opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) and Udi Angel, the controlling shareholder in Channel 2 franchise holder Reshet. Sources said that at his meetings, Murdoch expressed great interest in events in Israel and its future, including the state of Israel's media. At the same time, he held no operative meetings, and did not view presentations by local companies.

Good relations with Benjamin Netanyahu

In 2001, Newscorp acquired content and distribution company Shine, which last year acquired Dutch distribution and content development company Endemol. Endemol acquired one third of the shares in Reshet two years ago, thereby in effect making Newscorp a party at interest in Reshet. Before the deal, Newscorp was obliged to sell 9% of the Channel 10 shares it held through Arnon Milchan.

Ruport Murdoch is considered a personal friend of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The media market has for years expected Murdoch, whose outlook is right wing, to attempt to establish a branch of his content business in Israel. Throughout the years, however, other than the investment in Channel 10, which was mainly a passive investment, he has refrained from doing so.

Netanyahu recently reiterated his intention of opening the communications market to more competitors, together with the splitting of Channel 2 into two separate channels. The concerns currently owning media assets in Israel are restricted in their ability to own news channels and broadcast channels that also feature news. In recent years, the number of foreign tycoons showing an interest in the Israeli media has risen, and it cannot be ruled out that Netanyahu himself has been encouraging this trend. Among others, this involves Sheldon Adelson (Israel Hayom), Len Blavatnik (Channel 10, RGE), and Yitzhak Mirilashvili (Channel 20, often referred to as the Israeli Fox News).

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on June 28, 2015

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2015

Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch  photo: Reuters
Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch photo: Reuters
Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters גלובס Israel Business Conference 2018