Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sky Italia Hard Man Called in to Replace Rebekah Brooks

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sky Italia Hard Man Called in to Replace Rebekah Brooks

Article excerpt

Byline: Gideon Spanier and Jim Armitage

RUPERT Murdoch today helicoptered in one of his most political and combative lieutenants to replace Rebekah Brooks as chief executive of his troubled UK newspaper empire.

Tom Mockridge arrives from running Sky Italia, where he clashed with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and also former US Vice-President Al Gore after dropping his liberal TV channel in Italy.

Mockridge will have a huge in-tray as he battles to contain the phone-hacking scandal and tries to steady nerves at News International, owner of The Sun, The Times and Sunday Times.

One of his key priorities is likely to be launching The Sun On Sunday to replace the News of the World, which was axed last week.

James Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp's international operations, who has already worked closely with Mockridge, said: "I believe that Tom is the best person to move the company forward to a brighter future."

Murdoch said: "Tom is an outstanding executive with unrivalled experience across our journalism and television businesses. He has proven himself to be a very effective operator in his time at Sky Italia." He also pointed out Mockridge had launched a new channel, TG24, "which has set a new standard for independent journalism in Italy". …

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