Entertainment & Arts

Elisabeth Murdoch to deliver annual MacTaggart lecture

Elisabeth Murdoch
Murdoch will be the third member of her family to give the keynote speech

Elisabeth Murdoch is set to deliver the MacTaggart lecture as part of the 2012 Edinburgh International Television Festival.

Murdoch is the daughter of News Corporation founder Rupert Murdoch and is chair of the Shine Group - which makes shows like Merlin and MasterChef.

Her brother James delivered the lecture in 2009, and notoriously described the BBC's size and ambition as "chilling".

She was due to speak in 2011 but pulled out amid the phone hacking scandal.

On that occasion, she was replaced by Google chairman Eric Schmidt.

Miss Murdoch becomes the first woman to deliver the speech since Janet Street Porter in 1995 and only the fourth since the festival's inception in 1976.

Rupert Murdoch spoke at the 1989 festival.

The MacTaggart Lecture was named after writer, producer and director James MacTaggart - who died in 1974.

It has since established itself as a platform for agenda-setting speeches in the media.

In 2007, Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman voiced concerns over the TV industry suggesting senior executives were "less concerned with content and a lot more concerned with bottom lines".

After James Murdoch's critique of the BBC in 2009, director general Mark Thompson was given the chance to defend the corporation.

More than 2,000 UK delegates from the broadcasting and media industries attend the annual event in August.

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