Thursday, 11 August 2011

Q & A With James Murdoch

James Murdoch will come to Hong Kong next month

We may or may not get a chance to ask James Murdoch what he really knew what was going on at News of the World because he'll be in Hong Kong for the Asia Media Summit at the Four Seasons on September 6.

He's the keynote speaker who will also take part in a question-and-answer session -- but now it's uncertain whether he will be taking any tough questions about mobile phone hacking that led to the 168-year-old tabloid's abrupt demise.

The organizer of the event, Media Partners said a set of pre-arranged questions will be drawn up in advance and they will be finalized closer to the event. "I am not sure if [Murdoch] will be taking questions from the floor," a spokeswoman said.

There haven't been extra security measures taken either considering activist/comedian Jonnie Marbles threw a shaving cream pie at Rupert Murdoch at the British parliamentary hearing.

"We have not been informed by his office that any special arrangements are needed, but there is still about a month to go, so closer to the date we will know more about those kinds of arrangements," she said.

I can already imagine hordes of media attending Murdoch's speech, only to be disappointed by the highly-controlled event without any chance to ask questions.

Or perhaps his step-mother Wendi will show up too?

Nevertheless James has a brief connection with Hong Kong, as in 2000 he was appointed head of News Corp's Asian satellite service Star TV, which lost HK$1.27 billion a year. Two years later it turned a small profit thanks to new channels and distribution deals with India, China and Taiwan.

In 2003 he then moved to London where he became director of UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB, and later that year became chief executive.

So James, perhaps you wish to clear your conscience in Hong Kong rather than London? Pray do tell.

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