Sunday, March 1, 2009

There's still profit on the page

Peter Bradshaw writes:

The old boy doesn't dissemble. "I am extremely happy with all of our newspapers," he says. "There has never been a greater appetite for news in the community - and we will be able to capitalise on that pretty well." But listen to the analysts agonise as Peter Chernin, News Corp's chief operating officer and Hollywood head honcho, departs. Listen as the New York Times (for heavens sake!) pronounces Rupert Murdoch's love of printed news his Achilles heel. Listen to the drumbeats of doom as the media giant that Rupert built has to be rescued by a bevy of variously talented Murdoch kids and a battered boss lighting 78 candles on his birthday cake.

Is this, as some woe merchants now proclaim, the beginning of the end of the Murdoch hegemony? Is the special one too wrapped up in family succession manoeuvres to keep vital hired talent happy? Is his corporate structure so wonky that he has to take over the Beverly Hills beat himself pro tem, a lost tycoon diagnosing the tastes of movie audiences 60 years younger? Doesn't he realise that most media dynasties self-destruct?

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