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Rupert Murdoch's 103-Year-Old Mother Hospitalized After Fall

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch - P 2012

The News Corp. CEO, in Australia for his annual tour of News’ businesses, has canceled all appointments to be with his mother, Dame Elisabeth.

SYDNEY -- Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, the centenarian mother of News Corp. chief executive Rupert Murdoch, is recovering in the hospital after breaking her leg in a fall at her home near Melbourne, according to the company’s Australian newspapers.

“The family of Dame Elisabeth Murdoch have confirmed this morning that she is recuperating in hospital following a fall at her home,” said a statement released by News Limited and published on the website of broadsheet The Australian.

“A family spokesman thanked well-wishers on Dame Elisabeth's behalf and requested that she be given privacy to continue her treatment,” the statement added.

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The much-loved philanthropist, who was feted at a concert marking her 103rd birthday in February, lives at her 54-acre property, Cruden Farm, 30 miles outside Melbourne. She was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1963 for her community work.

The news comes as Rupert Murdoch arrived in the country Tuesday for his annual three-week sojourn, during which he will get updates on News’ local operations, attend the annual in-house awards for News Limited journalists, known as the News Awards, and spend time with his Australian-based family, including his mother, sisters and eldest son, Lachlan.

In particular, Murdoch will reportedly be keen to see how the company’s newspaper paywalls, implemented at The Australian and the Melbourne-based tabloid The Herald Sun, are faring and see where News’ $2 billion takeover of James Packer’s Consolidated Media stands.

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The ConsMedia deal, which will give News a 50% share of paynet Foxtel and full control of sportscaster Fox Sports, is due to be finalized in November. That’s if fellow media mogul Kerry Stokes, owner of broadcaster the Seven Network, who holds a stake in ConsMedia, can be persuaded that the $2 billion price tag is a good deal for Seven.

Rupert has canceled appointments in Sydney to be with his mother in Melbourne, Fairfax Radio reported.