News Corp. lobbies for fourth Australian channel

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Sydney -- Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has begun a major lobbying campaign to persuade the federal government to consider a fourth commercial TV network in Australia following the introduction of digital TV, scheduled for around 2000.

News Corp.'s lobbying effort is headed by Grahame Morris, a close friend and former chief political adviser to Prime Minister John Howard. Mr. Morris left to join News Corp.'s Australian arm, News Ltd., as director of strategy. He reports to Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman of News Ltd.

News Ltd. sold its 14.9% stake in the Seven Network in early December, with Lachlan Murdoch citing present restrictive media ownership rules as the reason. ``We look forward to the time when we can aggressively compete in Australian broadcasting,'' he said.

Copyright December 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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