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James Murdoch To Open Edinburgh Television Festival.

James MurdochLONDON; 20th April 2009: James Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive, Europe and Asia, News Corporation, and Chairman of BSkyB, will give this year’s MacTaggart Lecture at the MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Instituted 33 years ago to open the annual Edinburgh International Television Festival, the prestigious MacTaggart Lecture always attracts major names in UK and international broadcasting and is known for producing controversial and agenda-setting speeches.

Other past MacTaggart speakers include Peter Fincham, Dennis Potter, Michael Grade, Janet Street-Porter, Ted Turner, Peter Bazalgette, Greg Dyke, David Liddiment, Mark Thompson, Tony Ball, John Humphrys, Lord Birt, Charles Allen, Jeremy Paxman and Rupert Murdoch, who delivered a seminal speech in 1989.

James Murdoch said, “I am honoured to have been invited to deliver the MacTaggart this year. Our industry is so clearly at a turning point that now is a good time to consider the right way forward for the industry, for regulators and, most importantly, for our customers.”

Elaine Bedell, 2009 MGEITF Advisory Chair and Director of Entertainment and Comedy, ITV, said, “‘I’m very pleased that James Murdoch has agreed to deliver this year’s MacTaggart. He has a unique perspective on our industry, having worked across television, publishing and digital businesses worldwide, and he’ll be able to provide festival delegates with very welcome insights on a global media industry which is currently undergoing crisis and evolution.”

Tim Hincks, MGEITF Executive Chair and CEO of Endemol UK added, “A great Edinburgh starts with a great MacTaggart and securing James Murdoch for our key address is a real coup – proving yet again that the festival is the one media event you simply cannot afford to miss.”

The MacTaggart Lecture will take place on Friday 28th August at 18.45pm.

James Murdoch has worked across a broad range of media businesses – since 2007, as Chairman and Chief Executive, Europe and Asia, News Corporation, with responsibility for the strategic and operational development of News Corporation’s television, newspaper and related digital assets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

He has been Non-Executive Chairman of BSkyB since 2007 following four years as Chief Executive at the company. During his time at BSkyB, the company accelerated its rate of growth, expanded into residential telecoms and broadband and increased its commitment to investing in programming. Under his leadership, BSkyB became the first major media company to become carbon neutral, a commitment that has been embraced by News Corporation. Before joining Sky, James spent three years as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of STAR, News Corporation’s Asian satellite television and multimedia group.

Note to Editors:
Registration for the 2009 MGEITF is now open. The early bird rate of £488.75 including VAT is currently available until May 29th. Click here for more information

A unique opportunity for individuals from across the media to share ideas, make new contacts and reconnect with friends and colleagues, MGEITF offers delegates a varied programme of topical debates, one to one networking opportunities, masterclasses and keynote lectures from leading UK and international media figures. The Festival programme is developed by an Advisory Committee made up of individuals from across the industry.

MGEITF  is a delegate entry event which annually attracts over 2000 delegates from all sectors and levels of the industry. To find out more, and to register, please visit

MGEITF is a charitable organisation which supports and develops new talent from all backgrounds through its two talent schemes, The Network and Fast Track. Approximately one third of the delegate fees go towards supporting these initiatives.

MGEITF Press Information:
Debra Johnson, Taylor Herring PR. Tel: 0208 206 5151 Email:[email protected]


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