Last year, Rupert Murdoch thumbed his nose at erstwhile Dow Jones owners the Bancrofts by appointing a 27-year-old would-be opera singer, Natalie Bancroft, to the News Corp. board to represent the Bancrofts ‘interests. We described Natalie as a potted plant. This critique, among others, appears to have prompted Natalie to sit down with Portfolio magazine for a profile:
“There’s been people saying, ‘She’s going to be a potted plant and a pushover.’ The last thing I am is a pushover,” she says. “I’m not just some idiotic girl in piggytails yodeling.”
OK, point taken. We’re sorry. But perhaps Natalie should have left it at that:
Ticking off her qualifications to serve on the News Corp. board, she points out that she grew up in Europe, has a flexible schedule (she commutes to Milan for voice classes every few weeks), and sleeps only three to five hours a night. She also says she is multilingual and routinely reads foreign-language newspapers. Instead of being intimidated by the accomplished men who will be her colleagues, she says the prospect thrills her: “I have a much easier time understanding men. I was a tomboy. I love camping. I love sailing. I love doing boy stuff.”
Is she planning to get an M.B.A. to help prepare for the position? “In journalism?” she asks.
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