Murdoch not eyeing ITV post

Despite speculation, she did not submit for the job

LONDON -- Shine Group founder and chairman Elisabeth Murdoch has "not put herself forward" as a candidate to succeed as ITV executive chairman, her production company said Sunday, despite weekend speculation that Murdoch is on the shortlist for the job of ITV chief executive.

A spokesman for Shine said Murdoch was "merely on a list that's been drawn up," but that she had not put herself in the frame for the job.

Shine, which owns Reveille Prods. and is one of the U.K.'s leading drama and entertainment producers, was launched in 2001.

Murdoch has recently spearheaded major expansion plans in Australia, Germany, France and Scandinavia as she positions the company as a major global producer/distributor along the lines of Fremantle and Endemol.

Reports over the weekend suggested that the ITV board has set an Aug. 6 deadline to announce a new chief executive and have urged headhunters Russell Reynolds to accelerate their search.

Murdoch is understood to be on their wishlist of potential successors, alongside such execs as Joost chief executive Mike Volpi, Google Europe head Nikesh Arora, ITV chief operating officer John Cresswell and ITV head of commercial Rupert Howell.

Neither former BSkyB chief executive Tony Ball nor NBC co-chairman of entertainment Ben Silverman are reported to be on the shortlist, although Ball is understood to have told the board he will participate in the formal search process.

Ball is thought to have the support of some of ITV's biggest shareholders, Legal and General and Fidelity, but has alienated headhunters by bypassing the official search process.
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