Murdoch Grooms Son for Throne of Global Media Empire Dad Wife; Lachlan Murdoch with His Father Rupert and Supermodel Wife Sarah O'Hare

Article excerpt

He already has a supermodel wife, a passion for risky sports and one of the most powerful media jobs in the world.

What will Lachlan Murdoch do after he turns 30?

Part of that question was answered yesterday, when it was announced the 29-year-old had been appointed deputy chief operating officer of News Corp, the third most senior position in his father Rupert's global empire.

Just a week ago the handsome, crew-cut man was immersed in the spectacular Sydney Olympics, sitting in the stands next to his father and putting in an Olympic-sized performance on the Sydney party circuit with wife Sarah O'Hare.

Back in the office, he faces a stern test to convince shareholders he is up to the job, which has reinforced perceptions that Lachlan Murdoch will eventually succeed his father.

'He's going in as a trainee chief executive,' said Alex Pollak, media analyst at Macquarie Equities.

Some analysts suggested investors might be uncomfortable because he was seen as lacking experience for such a senior position.

'I have heard people are reacting very negatively to this,' said a media analyst at an international investment bank.

News shares have slid 14.6 per cent since film and television unit Fox Entertainment Group issued a profit warning on September 29.

That slide continued yesterday, with News shares closing down A$1.26 - 5.3 per cent - at A$22.44.

Analysts say the share slide reflected concerns about the US economy and earnings more than Lachlan Murdoch's latest rise.

Of some comfort to investors will be that the lines of succession still appear to be firmly set in the Murdoch empire. …