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Thursday, 4 May, 2000, 00:23 GMT 01:23 UK
Elisabeth Murdoch quits Sky
Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch prefers his son Lachlan over Elisabeth as corporate heir
Rupert Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth is quitting satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

The 31-year-old will leave her post as managing director of Sky Networks at the end of June.

She is to set up her own UK-based company specialising in television, film and new media content.

On Thursday, BSkyB confirmed a report in The Times that she was pregnant.

"The Times story is accurate," a spokesman said.

Earlier, in a statement announcing her departure, she said it was with "some lament" that she was leaving.

"However, now is a great time to pursue something that I have been thinking about for some time," she added.

Sons seen as heirs

BSkyB chief executive Tony Ball said she had played a "pivotal" role in the creative development of the company.

Director of Broadcasting Mark Sharman would temporarily take over Ms Murdoch's role as managing director of Sky Networks, running the content side of the business.

Her brothers Lachlan and James are looking increasingly likely to take key roles in succession to their 69-year-old father as boss of News Corp, owner of BSkyB.

Rupert Murdoch last year signalled that his chosen successor within the family would be 29-year-old Lachlan.

His other son James is also seen as likely to play an important role in News Corp after being despatched from New York to prepare the group's Asian television operation, Star TV, for flotation.

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