James Murdoch, the closest thing to an heir apparent to the News Corporation empire, may be moving up in more ways than one. Public records suggest that the recently promoted News Corp. executive may be moving into Jim Henson's former Upper East Side home, affectionately known as the "Muppet Mansion."
Murdoch, the 38-year-old son of media magnate Rupert Murdoch, was promoted to deputy chief operating officer at News Corp. on Wednesday. In this newly created position, Murdoch will expand his current role in the company's European and Asian operations to include all News Corp. markets.
The young Murdoch will relocate from London to New York to manage his enlarged purview, and, in the process, perhaps snatch up one of the Upper East Side's most interesting properties.
The so-called "Muppet Mansion," a neo-Georgian, 12,000-square-foot estate, was recently purchased for $23 million, but it wasn't until the announcement of Murdoch's promotion that the pieces seemed to come together. The buyer, a limited liability company (LLC) named "Statler"--an inside joke for you Muppets fans--was traced back to Jesse Angelo, editor of The Daily, Rupert Murdoch's iPad exclusive news venture.
The mansion could, potentially, belong to Angelo and not the incoming Murdoch. Angelo was given a budget of $30 million to head The Daily, but that doesn't mean the young editor personally has $23 million to invest in the stately property. Furthermore, why go to the trouble of setting up an LLC? Typically LLCs are set up to shelter one's assets from creditors, but are often used to hide the buyer's identity in high-profile purchases.
The Corcoran brokers who listed the property, Carrie Chiang and Loy Carlos, had not returned our calls at press time.
But judging from Murdoch's new status in the company, Henson's sprawling Muppet Mansion could be the perfect base for the future puppet master of News Corp.
CORRECTION: The article previously misstated the amount paid to Jesse Angelo to head The Daily. The $30 million refers to the budget allocated to the iPod exclusive venture.