Rupert Murdoch Won't Attend Margaret Thatcher Funeral

Margaret Thatcher Headshot - P 2013
Getty Images

Margaret Thatcher Headshot - P 2013

The News Corp. CEO was an admirer of the former British prime pinister, but he has been busy preparing for the split of his conglomerate.

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch was a longtime admirer of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, but he will miss her London funeral Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, he is unable to attend due to a long-standing commitment," a spokesman said.

News Corp. is in the process of separating its entertainment businesses and publishing operations into two separate companies. The split is expected to happen midyear, and much management focus has been on preparing it.

The Guardian said Murdoch is expected to attend a News Corp. board meeting in New York next week. 

Such meetings typically are scheduled well in advance.

Murdoch in an editorial in News Corp.'s Times of London this week praised Thatcher as an inspiration for his business life, including the launch of the Sky pay TV service and a battle with newspaper unions. 

The Thatcher funeral is expected to cause traffic jams and possible civil unrest in the British capital. As a result, the U.K. release of Iron Man 3 has been pushed back from Wednesday to Thursday.

Twitter: @georgszalai