Elisabeth Murdoch—the daughter of News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch, owner of all currently operating media outlets—has a personal story that Horatio Alger would appreciate. Sure, today she's the CEO of her own production company. But she started with nothing. Absolutely nothing. Elisabeth Murdoch was once a lowly, unappreciated "broke acquisitions executive" on the bottom rung of the ladder, according to Elisabeth Murdoch. In a recent speech to a crowd of other wealthy entertainment executives [Hollywood Reporter], she delivered a tale of woe and triumph that will serve as an inspiration to people who, like Murdoch, had to work their way up with pure grit:
As a buyer for the FX channel in the early nineties, Murdoch said she had virtually no acquisitions budget and spent time wandering the lower reaches of the Palais convention hall seeking out foreign formats.
"Ultimately it seemed that I was always being chatted up by quite elderly Teutonic broadcast executives who could tell how green I was by the titles on the one-sheets that I was clasping."
The young executive learned the ropes, she told the SRO hall, "through endless meals at the Majestic and drinks at the Carlton, while dreaming of one day staying in a hotel that was anywhere near the Croisette."
Through copious amounts of blood, sweat, and tears—combined only with her own inherent talent—she slowly rose through the ranks of the meritocracy.
It was not until she took over as BSkyB's content head that she secured the coveted balcony meetings with "actual Hollywood studio executives."
But when she began her own production venture, Shine, in 2001, it was back to the "bottom rung of the ladder," this time as a struggling indie producer.
"It was back to anonymity faster than you could say Martinez," she said. "I am not sure which was worse — the early days as a broke acquisitions executive or as an unknown producer peddling my wares."
You can say "Martinez" almost as fast as you can say "Murdoch."