Television

Murdoch ready to call it a day: not quite so soon

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Any thoughts that Ozzie-American media baron Rupert Murdoch might be ready to ease the pedal on the breakneck pace of life that he leads could well be a tad premature if one goes by the interview, which he gave during the airing of a documentary aired on BBC2 over the weekend.

Speculation that Murdoch might be thinking ahead to the day when he would "hang up his boots" increased after he suggested in a recent interview to London's "Financial Times" that his two sons, Lachlan and James, could share the future leadership of News Corporation.

In the BBC2 interview, the septuagenarian dismissed rumours that he was to go easy on the pedal and even seemed to suggest there was no way he would hand over the wheel of the News Corp juggernaut to his kids for at least the next 30 years.

During the course of the documentary he said that his heart is perfect, there is no sign of cholesterol in his system. He said that he would live to score his century.

"I don't like the idea of retirement. Retirement is something that was not on my radar screen and still isn't," Murdoch was quoted as saying, adding that his second wife Anna and he split on account of her demands on him to go easy in his professional career.

The Australian documentary shows Murdoch working out and even getting into a boxing session with a sparring partner. Hotel officials in India (wherever he has stayed on his India visits) have revealed to indiantelevision.com how the media baron normally makes a dash for the gym whenever he comes visiting. "For a 70-year-old he is extremely fit," says an executive in one of the hotels where he has stayed. 

Murdoch's children are among the largest shareholders of the $30 billion asset strong News Corp which controls SkyDigital, News International, Fox Television and 20th Century Fox. During the course of the documentary Murdoch is quoted as saying: "I want them to be happy and be able to leave them great opportunities like my father left me. They don't have to but all the signs are they want it very much. I just hope they don't push me out too soon." 

Fat chance of that happening if one goes by his determination to go past 100. 

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