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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Murdoch Media

posted by on April 23 at 10:11 AM

From the New York Times:

Rupert Murdoch is moving to tighten his already-imposing grip on American news media, striking a tentative deal to buy his third New York-based paper, Newsday, and getting his first chance to appoint the top editor of The Wall Street Journal, after the resignation of the editor on Tuesday.

His $580 million bid for Newsday and his urgency in remaking The Journal worry his competitors and cause angst in many newsrooms, including his own. And both moves are vintage Rupert Murdoch, a man who operates his sprawling News Corporation like an old-style media mogul, making big bets on old and new media ó bankrolling the new Fox Business Network, aggressively pursuing a deal for Yahoo, and buying Dow Jones & Company, publisher of The Journal, for far more than analysts thought it was worth. And that was just in the last year.

His first love, however, remains newspapers. The purchase of Newsday from the Tribune Company would put Mr. Murdoch in control of 3 of the nationís 10 largest-circulation papers (the others being The Journal and The New York Post). Owning Newsday, which is based on Long Island, would also open an eastern front in the long-running battle for New York tabloid supremacy and, by combining some operations, could allow News Corporation to end decades of heavy losses by The Post.

The Murdoch-inspired Bond villain (played by Jonathan Pryce) in Tomorrow Never Dies always seemed way too cartoonish. Now I’m wondering if Rupert Murdoch has a secret stealth boat stashed somewhere.


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He's also railing against the FCC's "silly" rules that restrict his ability to buy up every media outlet in America. Sheesh, he makes William Randolph Hearst look like a nice guy.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | April 23, 2008 10:28 AM

What bothers me about the big media consolidation (oh thank you Bill Clinton for signing that bill by the way) is that in the bubble of a progressive city like Seattle most of us forget that many many people do not have cable or a dish for television and most have limited internet access and only one local newspaper that they get regularly.

The fact that media conglomerates can opperate like this is a huge reason all those "red states" stay red. I really hate the argument that media consolidation does not matter with all the choices out there. The reality is many of those choices cost money and are not all that easily accessed by many Americans.

Posted by Andrew | April 23, 2008 10:32 AM

Andrew @ 2,

It doesn't really matter how many choices people have if they're too stupid to see through the mindless, jingoistic, infotainment propaganda that gets passed off as "news" these days.

At this point, we have to read British or Canadian news to figure out what's happening in our own freakin' country.

If you only tell Americans exactly what they want to hear--which is Rupert Murdoch's wildly successful business model--they'll believe it regardless of the source.

Posted by Original Andrew | April 23, 2008 10:52 AM

Be careful which British news you're reading, he owns half of them too!

Posted by Rye | April 23, 2008 11:19 AM

I can't imagine Rupert Murdoch owning a "secret" anything. If it has the loudest paint-job, and the most noise-making devices on it, then it probably belongs to him.

Posted by COMTE | April 23, 2008 11:24 AM

Rye @ 4,

Too true. They do come up with some hee-larious headlines though; I'll give them credit for that.

Posted by Original Andrew | April 23, 2008 11:49 AM

After the WSJ Chief Editor resigned yesterday, I'll no longer be renewing my print subscription to the Wall Street Journal.

Time to vote with my dollars.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 23, 2008 1:55 PM

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