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Murdoch Makes Several Executive Moves at News Corp., News America

January 17, 1990

NEW YORK (AP) _ Several top-level executives at the media and entertainment giant News Corp. Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary, News America Publishing Inc., have been given new responsibilities.

Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch said in announcing the changes Tuesday that they would ″create greater depth in our executive group to deal with our intensified program of international expansion and to cope with the rapid development of new and complex forms of media.″

Several new senior-level positions were created. Those people would report to Murdoch at the parent company, based in Australia, which publishes newspapers, magazines and books in the United States, Britain and Australia. News Corp. also owns Fox Inc., the television and motion picture company.

John B. Evans, formerly president of Murdoch Magazines, was named to the new post of executive vice president for development.

Lawrence Kessler, formerly a vice president and general counsel of News America, was named executive vice president and general counsel of News Corp.; Jeffrey Leist, formerly vice president and treasurer, was named executive vice president-administration; and William O’Neill, former managing director of News International Newspapers in the United Kingdom, was named executive vice president-human resources.

David Devoe, who had been deputy finance director, was named deputy chief financial officer, assisting Richard Sarazen, News Corp.’s chief financial officer.

At News America, several changes were announced for executives who will report to Martin Singerman, who continues as president and chief executive.

In an interview Wednesday, Singerman said the changes were not designed to signal any imminent moves by the company or its parent.

Leslie Hinton was named to replace Evans as president of Murdoch Magazines. He had been executive vice president at the magazine unit, which publishes TV Guide, Seventeen, Mirabella and Soap Opera Digest, among others.

Hinton will be succeeded as executive vice president at the magazine unit by Richard Hawkes, who had been vice president and general manager at the Boston Herald newspaper.

Patrick Purcell, president and publisher of the Boston Herald, was named to the additional job of president of the newspaper division which includes the Herald and the San Antonio Express-News.

Kenneth Bortner, who joined News America last year when News Corp. acquired his Product Movers company, was named president of the Free-Standing Insert Division, which compiles advertising for inclusion in newspapers.

Gerard Fragetti, formerly vice president, finance, at the FSI Division, has been named News America’s executive vice president, finance.

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