Can Tom Mockridge save News International and Murdochs after scandal – GQ.COM UK
For the past decade, hes been Murdochs front man in a complicated power struggle with Europes most eccentric politician. At the time Mockridge shrugged off the All Whites draw, Sky Italia was locked in a turf war with Silvio Berlusconis TV empire Mediaset. The Italian premier seemed to be using every political trick in the book to close down Sky Italia. Not content with owning most of Italys terrestrial TV, he launched a satellite channel, Mediaset Premium, against Sky, passed laws damaging Skys programming, restricting its ad revenue and doubling the VAT it paid.Mockridge fought back, but, crucially, refused to accuse anyone of unfair play. “Im not making any accusation that conflict of interest has driven decisions,” he insisted in 2010. “Im not saying the government has made these decisions to favour Berlusconi.”As a result of this reserve, getting a grip on the mans granite face isnt easy. News International declined requests for an interview with him, saying the Leveson enquiry made it difficult. Most existing Murdoch staffers preferred not to chat or, if they did, to be quoted off the record.