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NEWS CORP. ELEVATES PADDEN AND BINZEL

Rupert Murdoch has tapped Fox network distribution prexy Preston Padden as News Corp.’s president of telecommunications & television and Peggy Binzel as senior VP, government relations, for News Corp.

In his new post, Padden will become point man for News Corp.’s joint venture with long-distance telco MCI Communications, which last May invested $2.2 billion in News Corp. and received 13.5% of News Corp. stock and a seat on the board. The promotion comes after Padden passed on an offer to run the Walt Disney Co.’s telco partnership and declared he would stay with Fox for life.

Padden will work with all divisions at Fox and News Corp. worldwide in formulating the company’s strategy for working with the telephone industry. He will also continue to play a key role in News Corp.’s overall TV strategy. Padden will continue to report to Murdoch and Fox Television chairman/CEO Chase Carey and split his time between his Washington base and Fox’s Los Angeles headquarters.

Binzel will become Fox and News Corp.’s chief lobbyist in Washington and will report to Padden. She and Padden played key roles in Fox’s battles at the FCC over foreign ownership and in its lobbying efforts regarding telecommunications reform.

Binzel has been veep of government relations for News Corp. since June 1994. Prior to that, she was director of government affairs at TBS for four years.

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