Blomfield tops Oz’s Foxtel

Tech director upped to chief exec at feevee service

SYDNEY — Jim Blomfield has been tapped chief executive of News Corp.’s Foxtel, the leading Australian feevee service.

Blomfield was director of technology and broadcasting at Foxtel before taking the same post in 1997 at Japan’s JSkyB (now known as SkyPerfecTV).

After serving as chief executive of News Broadcasting Japan, he became the chief exec of News Broadcasting Australia last year, charged with lobbying the conservative government to lift the legal restrictions that prevent News Corp. from holding terrestrial TV licenses owing to Rupert Murdoch’s American citizenship.

Blomfield replaces Tom Mockridge, who was promoted to chief executive of an interactive TV joint venture between News Corp.’s Star TV and Cable & Wireless Hong Kong Telecom (HKT).

News Corp. was outmaneuvered last week in its bid for a stake in HKT by Star TV founder Richard Li, who owns competing entertainment services in Hong Kong, raising questions about the future of the Star TV-HKT joint venture.

But News Corp. exec veep James Murdoch, who last week became interim co-chairman of Star TV after chief exec Gareth Chang’s sudden exit, said Rupert Murdoch plans to meet Li in Hong Kong this week and remained committed to the joint venture.

“I already met with Richard, and we had a very positive talk and we both agreed we’re very committed to it,” James Murdoch told news agencies.

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