Murdoch to chair Royal TV Conference


LONDON -- In what likely will be one of his last U.K. appearances, British Sky Broadcasting CEO James Murdoch has agreed to chair the two-day Royal Television Conference that runs Sept. 13-15, it was announced Wednesday.

Murdoch, who has chaired the British satcaster since 2004, is thought likely to leave Sky this year and take a senior role at News Corp., according to Sky insiders, with Sky Italia CEO Tom Mockridge thought to be the favorite to replace him.

Murdoch will chair the two-day event as well as the advisory committee that will select speakers.

The Royal Television Society conference -- held every two years -- is the highest-profile media industry event in the U.K. Previous speakers include Leslie Moonves, Terry Semel and Mark Thompson. Rupert Murdoch and John Malone were scheduled to attend the event in September 2001 but were unable to attend because of the terrorist attacks.

Although themes for this year's conference have yet to be decided, it is expected that Murdoch's fascination with technology as well as his pro-environmental stance might shape the agenda.

At last year's Edinburgh Television Festival, the satcaster hosted a session with former Vice President Al Gore.

"The convention brings together key players from European media and beyond for three days of insightful and provocative debate," Murdoch said.

"With the advisory committee, I'm looking forward to presenting a fascinating program of speakers that maintains Cambridge's reputation for inspiring and entertaining its audience," he added.