Displaying all articles tagged:

News Corporation

  1. gossipmonger
    ‘Page Six’ Manages to Not Revel in Sarah Jessica Parker’s Failure Sarah Jessica Parker is not confident that her unreleased movie, Spinning Into Butter, will ever see the light of day. Barack Obama and his wife are slated to attend the opening of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Oprah on Thursday. Cosmetics heir Olivia Chantecaille got engaged to banker boyfriend Ren Grady. Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively took a bunch of friends shopping to Armani Exchange on Fifth Avenue. Shake Shack is opening a location on the Upper West Side! Sting, Diddy, and Josh Hartnett all hung out at Half Nelson producer Charlie Corwin’s birthday at Socialista, which is now back open after the hepatitis scare. Michael Musto will appear on the cover of The Village Voice spoofing this magazine’s Lindsay Lohan shoot.
  2. company town
    ‘Blender’ Gives Britney Spears a New BodyMEDIA • Britney Spears looks great on the new cover of Blender — too bad it’s not her body. [Radar] • Stephen Chao, the former News Corp. exec who lost his job after hiring a male stripper for a company party and almost drowning Rupert Murdoch’s dog, announced a new Website for how-to videos. First video: how to get fired in two easy steps. [NYT] • Now that Judith Regan’s settled her suit with Murdoch, will she give her winnings — likely north of $6.5 million — to charity like she once promised? [Mixed Media/Portfolio]
  3. it just happened
    Explosion and Evacuations at Fox NewsThere was an explosion earlier today in the News Corp. building on Sixth Avenue. MyFoxNY reports that it was a chemical explosion (wha?) and that one man was burned. Over 700 people have been evacuated from the building. Gawker reports that there is smoke coming from the top of the building and that they are not letting anybody in. Also, “all the news photographers who can’t get into their offices are taking photos of the people standing outside!” That’s so meta. It’s like citizen journalism 2.0!
  4. office-party patrol
    News Corp. Gets Drunk for Climate ChangeMost companies are kind enough not to have their holiday parties on a Friday. After all, you have enough personal holiday parties to drag your ass to this weekend (we saw you all waiting in line at Trader Joe’s for your half-dozen $4.99 bottles of Merlot). But what does Rupert Murdoch care about your piddling little plans? News Corp. was having their event on Friday, and all one billion of their employees damn well showed up. Their gargantuan party took over several ballrooms in the midtown Hilton, and of course, we duly waited in line (halfway down the block!) to get in, just because we knew you’d do it for us. We were not disappointed — it turned out to be the biggest private party we have ever attended in our lives. After the jump, find out what theme room caught Bill O’Reilly’s fancy, and which video games made the News Corpsies shake their bones.
  5. white men with money
    Changes in the House of Murdoch! Rebel Son James Anointed News Corp. Heir Apparent James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s not-un-hot, not uncool son, is stepping down from his job at British Sky Broadcasting “to take on a broader role within his father’s media empire,” the Times reports today. The paper daintily suggests that the move indicates Rupert “who is 76” (quoth the Times) has a “plan of succession,” meaning that it’s looking like Harvard dropout James is the one who’s going to take over the role of chairman when dad kicks it. (Alas, poor Lachlan!) This Murdoch the Younger, “who is five years younger than his father’s hot young wife Wendi” (quoth us), will not be coming to New York, however. He’ll remain in Europe, where he’ll take on the titles of chairman and chief executive for Europe and Asia for News Corporation. Elevation of Murdoch Son Suggests Plan of Succession [NYT] Related: The Boy Who Wouldn’t Be King
  6. company town
    Gucci Would Prefer a More Flattering CutFASHION • The Gucci family is up in arms over Ridley Scott’s biopic. They fear he’ll focus on the family scandals. You know, instead of making a movie about all the boring stuff. [British Vogue] • Helmut Lang is opening a pop-up shop in the meatpacking district. Just what we need, another fabulous place to spend our money while we are drunk. [Fashion Informer] • Kaiser Karl rocked the U.K. with a Chanel fashion show. [WWD]
  7. in other news
    Guess the Anonymous Regan Quote!Today’s Observer story on the Judith Regan lawsuit offers a good peek into the former publishing magnate’s thought process as she tries to take down HarperCollins, Jane Friedman, Rupert Murdoch, and even Rudy Giuliani. The salmon paper reveals that at the start of all of this, the wannabe If I Did It publisher was offered $6.5 million to settle, but she turned it down. They even talk to Judith herself! Her quotes are actually sort of tepid and unrelated to the case, which makes sense, as she’s probably banned by her lawyers from talking about it. But there are a lot of quotes by people who are “familiar” with her thinking and with the lawsuit. So let’s play a game! Which of the below quotes from unnamed “sources” are actually from Regan herself, dementedly speaking in the third person? • “The men don’t want a woman who can outshine them,” one source with knowledge of Ms. Regan’s thinking told the Observer. “They want women who can look up to them and bat their eyelashes. But honestly? She was more interesting than they were. She had a better life. She had more creativity. Men want to be on top.”
  8. company town
    Al Gore: Cashing In on His Big YearFINANCE • Al Gore, venture capitalist? The Nobel laureate and Apple board member is taking a hands-on role at Kleiner Perkins, the leading Silicon Valley venture firm. His goal: Save the world. And annoy GE’s Jeff Immelt as much as possible. [Fortune] • Harvard picked Robert S. Kaplan, a former Goldman Sachs vice-chairman, as the new steward for the $35 billion endowment. Something tells us his kids won’t have any trouble getting in. [Reuters via NYT] • A few management consultants with nothing better to do gave the Times its newest buzzword: CEO version 3.0. With the departures of Stan O’Neal, Chuck Prince, and Richard Parsons, it’s now time for leaders “who can assemble a team that functions as smoothly as a jazz sextet.” Because, as James Cayne showed, the old CEOs were way too bebop. [NYT]
  9. in other news
    Rupert and Ted Dine À DeuxThis is just embarrassing. With five tabloid gossip columns in this city and countless gossip Websites, and it was L.A. Weekly’s Nikki Finke that spotted arch-rivals Ted Turner and Rupert Murdoch out on a lunch date together? Okay, granted, it was at Turner’s restaurant, Ted’s Montana Grill, so probably nobody was really looking, but still. This is what the Finkster has to report: Sources said to me that the lunch was requested by Turner (est worth $2.3 bil) in an effort to “bury the hatchet” with Murdoch (est worth $8.8 bil). It came just days after a GQ interview was published with the CNN founder blaming the Fox News Channel founder for helping get America into the Iraq mess and labeling it “Rupert’s war” — and FNC in response using air time to belittle and demean Turner as “off his rocker.” Now, Murdoch can use the Wall Street Journal and new Fox Business Channel to belittle and demean Turner as well. “Ted reached out in the hope to make nice to Rupert now that he’s the biggest media mogul in the world,” a Murdoch insider told me. Did it work? “Rupert doesn’t change anything. He still goes after anyone he wants.” As we all know, Murdoch’s News Corp recently surpassed Time Warner as the globe’s largest media conglomerate. We’re guessing it was a testy lunch — for a brief run through of all the icky background between the two, see Finke’s piece. In the meantime, we are totally going to start lurking around the Olive Garden in Times Square. We just know that’s where Donald Trump and Rosie O’Donnell have been hanging out. Ted and Rupert Break Bread Together [Deadline Hollywood Daily]
  10. in other news
    Rupert Murdoch Peels an OnionLost in all the Wall Street Journal drama is the news of Rupert Murdoch getting his paws on another bastion of American journalism: The Onion. The beloved if slightly over-the-hill humor newspaper has signed on to provide exclusive content to MySpace, including audio podcasts and video from its misbegotten Onion News Network offshoot. The paper announced the partnership via press release filled with the usual barrage of jokes — and with a buzz-kill addendum (“the foregoing is a satirical press release published by MySpace, Inc…”) that suggests the big-league nature of the deal. Despite its shaggy pose, the Onion boasts dead-serious print circulation (3 million copies) and online traffic (4 million visitors each month). One can’t help but feel troubled, though. The newspaper industry’s panicked attempts to branch out into every new platform from social networks to mobile phones should be prime satire fodder; the Onion, in doing the same thing with the same zeal (anyone remember “The Onion on Your PDA” ads?), is losing just a bit of its outsider soul every time it oh-so-self-effacingly bites a new fad. The Onion Brings Its Irreverent Satire to MySpace [News.com] Earlier: New ‘Onion’ Fake News: Actually Fake, Not So Funny
  11. company town
    It’s Expensive Being Rupert MurdochMEDIA • Did Dow Jones cost Rupert Murdoch an extra $1 billion just because he’s Rupert Murdoch? [Slate] • Rik Hertzberg to blog for The New Yorker. From YearlyKos. And without fact-checking. [
  12. photo op
    Rupert Murdoch Is Happy, Can’t You Tell? Not that we’d pretend to understand how Rupert Murdoch thinks, but a question: If you’re leaving the board meeting of your global media behemoth at which the board has just voted to approve your deal to buy a company you’ve aggressively pursued, if you’re successfully buying the company after you didn’t budge an inch from your initial offer a few months ago while all the people who’d publicly said they hated you eventually came around and sold their family company to you, if you’ve said for years, even decades, that you wanted to buy this company, and if you’ve intentionally left the window of your SUV open so that photogs could get a good shot of you reveling in your victory, well, shouldn’t you at least try to look excited? Just asking.
  13. in other news
    The Dow Jones Deal, DigestedSo what does Rupert Murdoch’s successful purchase of Dow Jones mean for the company, the Journal, the country, the world, you? Let’s (metaphorically) ask Jim Romenesko, the ultimate summarizer of such matters. According to Jim, “explaining how Murdoch ended up winning DJ is simple,” but the “WSJ will lose prestige with News Corp. running the show.” “Murdoch’s DJ purchase could change business journalism.” (You think?) “WSJ reporters react bitterly to news of Murdoch’s victory,” and “‘just what the world needs [is] the Fox-ification of the WSJ.’”
  14. it just happened
    Dow Jones Deal: All Over But the Shoutin’…… and the payoffs to the Bancrofts’ lawyers and bankers, and the inevitable fury of Christopher Bancroft, and the mass defection of Journal staffers to the FT and the Times and, as at least the folks at Columbia Journalism Review would have you think, the topless chicks on the front of “Money & Investing”: But, yeah, it’s basically over. Bancroft Family Accepts Deal, Executive Says [Reuters via NYT]
  15. in other news
    Today’s Bancroft-o-Meter: Rupe’s Gonna Make It After All?It’s a funny thing. When any of us has a deadline, we have to obey it. Work has to be in when work has to be in. Taxes must be postmarked by April 15. The 5:09 for Montauk leaves at, God willing, 5:09. But apparently if you’re an already-rich family try to cash out on your newspaper company — or, for that matter, if you’re the State of New York applying for a half-billion dollars — a deadline is but a trifling concern. And so yesterday’s 5 p.m. cutoff for the Bancrofts to yea or nay a sale of Dow Jones to News Corporation came and went, and still no one knows the result. The Times today calls a deal “tantalizing close,” and the soberer Journal says the two sides “edged closer.”
  16. in other news
    Today’s Bancroft-o-Meter: Busted! There’s around a half-hour left to what’s nominally the deadline for the Bancrofts to approve a sale of Dow Jones, their family media company and the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. So what’s going happen? The short answer: No one knows. The Denver trusts are still holding out for more money, and now some of the Boston lawyers who act as trustees might feel that way, too. Rupert says he won’t offer more. Jane Cox MacElree, a family matriarch, is still against a deal, but she resigned from some of the trusts she heads because their beneficiaries are in favor. Family lawyers are trying to restructure one of the trusts Christopher Bancroft oversees, because he’s against the deal and will vote the shares in opposition, even though some of the beneficiaries of that trust support it. The Times says that it’s possible this whole thing will go into tomorrow or beyond, deadline notwithstanding. (“How long does it take to make a vote?” a fund manager asks in a CNN/Money article, echoing everyone’s frustration.) Oh, and Murdoch is “highly unlikely” to go through with the deal if he only gets enough Bancroft support to squeak though. So, yeah, we’ve got no idea. But so far today Dow Jones stock has dropped almost three points, or 5.6 percent, to 51.5 — which means investor think things aren’t looking good for a deal. Bancrofts’ Jockeying Over Murdoch Deal Goes Down to the Wire [WSJ] Dow Jones Deal Dead? Don’t Bet on It [CNN/Money] Bancrofts Said Divided as Journal Deadline Looms [NYT] News Corp. Says It’s ‘Highly Unlikely’ to Buy Dow Jones at Current Count [WSJ]
  17. the morning line
    Privileged Spitzer • While A.G. Andrew Cuomo was investigating him, Eliot Spitzer gagged two aides by quickly designating them “special counsels” — which bestowed lawyer-client privilege on their internal chats. Clever, and ever so slightly nauseating. [NYP]
  18. in other news
    The Bancroft-o-Meter: Death to Rupert?Movement on the Bancroft-o-Meter! The Journal’s Matthew Karnitschnig breaks the news this afternoon that the group of Bancroft trusts managed by a Denver law firm — as opposed to the bulk of the trusts, controlled by a Boston firm — will vote against the proposed sale to News Corporation. This is sort of a big deal, as the Denver-controlled votes were thought to be in favor of the Murdoch offer. Indeed, if we’re doing our math right — and we’re by no means certain we are — with the Denver 9.1 percent of votes against Murdoch, combined with Christopher Bancroft’s 15 percent, which are definitely against, and Jane Cox MacElree’s 15 percent, which according to Wednesday’s Journal article are likely against (she’s the one who cried at the family meeting Tuesday while invoking Danny Pearl), 49.1 percent of votes are against the deal. Throw in the Ottaway family’s 7 percent, a definite no, and that puts 56.1 percent of Dow Jones votes against the Murdoch deal at the moment. Doesn’t it? UPDATE: No, it doesn’t. And we’re really bad at math. 15+15+9.1 = 39.1, not 49.1. So we’re at 46.1 percent against now. Wow we’re embarrassed. Key Bancroft Family Trust to Vote Against News Corp. Bid for Dow Jones [WSJ] Earlier: Today’s Bancroft-o-Meter: Lukewarm, Maybe?
  19. in other news
    Today’s Bancroft-o-Meter: Lukewarm, Maybe?Yesterday was the big Bancroft family meeting on the future of Dow Jones, and today The Wall Street Journal has a hugely comprehensive takeout on who in the family stands where on the question of selling to Rupert Murdoch. (Somewhere, Clark Hoyt is kvelling.) No one really knows what’s going to happen: There are 33 Bancrofts, with more than 100 different trusts, managed by two different trusts and estates law firms, who have a say in this. After 2,700 words, by five bylined reporters, it’s impossible to tell who controls what votes and which people will vote which way. But, still, like on any good daytime soap, it’s fun to break down the players. After the jump, it’s all Jessie Bancroft Cox’s children.
  20. photo op
    Bancrofts Meet, Say (Almost) Nothing The Bancroft family, owners of Dow Jones and its Wall Street Journal, met for something like seven hours yesterday in Boston to hear about Rupert Murdoch’s bid to buy the company. There were a series of presentations but no actual debate; a decision could come as soon as later this week. Christopher Bancroft, a key opponent of the sale, spoke to reporters as he was leaving the meeting, but he wouldn’t comment. He was, however, wearing a hat that said “Bite Me.” Subtle. Related: Family Talks on Sale of Dow Jones Are Called ‘Not Acrimonious’ [NYT]
  21. intel
    Know Your BancroftsThey’re the most watched formerly quite private rich family in America right now: the Bancrofts, proprietors of Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal for the past century. The company’s board has approved Rupert Murdoch’s $5 billion takeover offer, but the deal isn’t done yet, and it won’t be till the family signs off. They’re meeting today in Boston to discuss. Who are they, exactly? After the jump, a family scorecard.
  22. in other news
    After ‘WSJ’ Deal Closes, Will Pam and Jim at Least Get Together?As the shadow of Murdoch begins to loom over Dow Jones, the offices of The Wall Street Journal are turning into the set of The Office. At least according to today’s Times, which depicts the Journal staff reduced to a very familiar kind of gallows humor and passive-aggressive sniping. Some have been answering phones with a cheery “News Corporation!” Others, getting ready to mock the boss, have begun to mimic Rupe’s Australian accent, the same way every Californian in 2004 had an Ah-nuld impersonation. A cryptic “I fly with Leslie” poster, noticed by the Times reporter, translates to a statement of defiance: Leslie Hill, a former pilot, is a Bancroft who’s against the deal. Even the bureau chiefs are getting into the populist-outrage humor: “We will have Page 3 girls,” announced one after a conference call with Murdoch, referring to the cheesecake shots his London Sun publishes. “But in a concession, they will be dot drawings.” And it’ll only get worse: Wait till they find out they’ll be merging with the Stamford office. Murdoch’s Arrival Worries Journal Employees [NYT]
  23. the morning line
    And in Non-Explosion News… • As if last night’s man-made horrors weren’t enough, here’s one from Mother Nature: A tornado touched down in Islip Terrace, uprooting trees and ripping up a law office, as two storms pummeled Long Island at the same time. [WNBC] • Some Wall Street Journal employees answer phones by drawling “News Corporation” in an Australian accent. [NYT] • Congress is refusing to pass a “routine resolution” honoring the New York Archdiocese because it mentions scandal-tainted Cardinal Edward Egan by name. Honorable, we guess. Remind us why Congress is honoring archdioceses in the first place? [NYP] • Al Sharpton, who led the drive to get Don Imus fired, will have no problem with his nemesis’ return to the airwaves: “He has a right to make a living.” So does the Rev, who clearly needs new material. [amNY] • And mazel tov to Mark Malkoff, who visited every Starbucks in Manhattan — there are 171 — in 24 hours. Bad news: Dude’s an “aspiring filmmaker” and, naturally, filmed the journey. [NYDN]
  24. in other news
    IHOP Bids for Applebee’s: The End of an American Institution? There’s news of an enormous, potentially game-changing corporate acquisition, the reverberations of which will be felt all across the country. We speak, of course, of the announcement that IHOP Corp. will buy the Applebee’s chain for $2.1 billion. IHOP plans to convert the floundering Applebee’s, one of the few company-owned national food chains, to the more popular franchise model. Though the deal appears to make immediate economic sense, we’re naturally worried about the possible loss of Applebee’s legendary culinary freedom. Will celebrity chef Tyler Florence, who had just unveiled his bruschetta burger and herb-crusted chicken breast for the fall menu, set to debut September 18, be allowed to continue his independent and aggressive experimentation under IHOP Corp.?
  25. the morning line
    Stalled Traffic • After all that, Albany shelved Bloomberg’s congestion-pricing idea, letting the federal-funding deadline pass without the issue even coming to a vote. Expect a new traffic-reducing proposal, nothing like Bloomberg’s, later in the year. [NYT]
  26. company town
    Did You Hear the One About the iPhone Nano?FINANCE • A JP Morgan analyst got canned for writing a report about a fictional Apple product, the iPhone Nano. [Apple 2.0 via DealBreaker] • Using the screen name Rahodeb, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey posted on Yahoo Finance bulletin boards to bash competitor Wild Oats. [Deal Journal/WSJ] • The SEC tries to reclaim authority over hedge funds by writing rules allowing the agency to sue for misleading investors. [Bloomberg]
  27. in other news
    Today in Dow Jones: Everything’s Different; Nothing’s ChangedWhen last we checked in on the players in the New Corporation–Dow Jones drama — the star-crossed Bancroft family, their Wall Street Journal, the interloping scamp Rupert Murdoch, and the thousands of field hands who fear they’ll be sold down the river if Murdoch gets his hands on the thing — a British business mag was reporting that a purchase deal was essentially done and Dow Jones spokesmen were saying it wasn’t. Where do things stand today? The Times reports that the editor of that British biz mag insists his story is true; the Journal reports that Dow Jones is still desperately seeking other suitors, including Ron Burkle, though perhaps only as a way to get Rupe to raise his offer; senior Journal editors tell the Times a lot of Journal reporters will lose their jobs if no deal happens; one longtime big-shot editor left the paper for Business Week; and Norm Pearlstine, the former Journal managing editor who went on to run Time Inc., says in the L.A. Times that Murdoch should encourage the Journal to cover News Corp. aggressively. In other words, nothing has actually changed. Expert on Murdoch Insisted Dow Jones Deal Was Done [NYT] Dow Jones Makes Late Push to Find Other Buyers [WSJ] Job Cuts Averted as Bid for Journal Stays Open [NYT] Journal Editor to Join a Magazine [NYT] You’ve Got to Cover Yourself [LAT]
  28. intel
    Who Will Catch the ‘Journal’ Stars? Even before Rupert Murdoch declared his intentions, The Wall Street Journal was already a bit under siege. The paper is full of talent that other publications want, and greedy rival editors — from Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, Portfolio, Newsweek, Time, the Times — are drawing up their lists of Journalistas to entice away. After the jump, a speculative shopping list.
  29. it just happened
    Breaking: There May or May Not Be a Deal for Dow Jones!A British mag called The Business is confidently reporting today that “Rupert Murdoch has succeeded with his $5 billion bid for Dow Jones, owners of the Wall Street Journal, according to sources acting for the Dow Jones board.” The Business says the price is $60 per share, that the deal includes the legally enforceable editorial-integrity agreement reached last week, that the Bancrofts are all onboard, and that the deal will be announced next week. Just one little problem. Dow Jones says none of it is true: A spokeswoman for Dow Jones said the report from The Business was “false.” She said there has been “no change” in ongoing negotiations on the takeover offer from News Corp. (NWS). “The only agreement is on editorial independence,” said the spokeswoman, Andrea Grinbaum. Sigh. We really have to deal with this on a summer Friday? EXCLUSIVE: Rupert Murdoch buys Dow Jones, owners of the Wall Street Journal [The Business] Dow Jones: Report On Completed News Corp Deal ‘False’ [DJ Newswires via CNNMoney]
  30. in other news
    ‘WSJ’ Editorial Deal Reached: Umpteenth Verse, Same As the First So Rupert Murdoch made a bid for Dow Jones. And he said he’d create an independent oversight board for The Wall Street Journal like he did for the London Times when he bought it, which can veto News Corp.’s top-level hiring decisions. And the Bancrofts were miffed about that. The London board wasn’t strong enough. It couldn’t protect their paper enough. Hell, it couldn’t even protect Harry Evans. They wanted a strong, all-powerful board. They wanted Murdoch’s money, but they didn’t want him hurting their newspaper. Murdoch, however, rejected their proposal. He didn’t want an all-powerful outside board. He didn’t even offer a board as powerful as London’s. “They can’t sell their company and still control it — that’s not how it works,” he said to Time magazine. “I’m sorry!” And now today the Times reports a deal has been reached on an oversight board. It will, after all that, be much like London’s. Still Another View of Role of Panel Proposed for Wall St. Journal [NYT]
  31. in other news
    ‘Time’ Mag: Murdoch Promises to Break His Promises So it’s been, what, two or three weeks now of tense negotiations over the future of Dow Jones. Of hand-wringing over what News Corp. might do to the company. Of Bancroftian efforts to retain some control of their company, even if they sell it. Of concerns that any promises Murdoch makes about editorial independence will be totally abrogated. Of Murdoch’s assurances that really, honestly, genuinely he’ll be respectful of the paper, just like he’s been of the Times in London. And then the new Time magazine comes out, with ol’ Rupe on the cover and this opening paragraph: “They’re taking five billion dollars out of me and want to keep control,” Rupert Murdoch was saying into the phone, “in an industry in crisis! They can’t sell their company and still control it — that’s not how it works. I’m sorry!” You have to respect the old Aussie, really. How many people have the balls to admit they’ll break their promises before the promise is even agreed to? Exclusive: Rupert Murdoch Speaks [Time]
  32. in other news
    ‘Times’: Only Murdoch Could Go to ChinaThe Times has the second installment of its Rupert Murdoch–is–a–bad–bad–man series today, this time focusing on his dealings with China and featuring a catchy new rubric: “The Murdochracy.” The piece checks in at 2,800 words, and it recaps what you basically already know about Mr. M.: that he’s constantly been willing to make concessions to the Chinese government to gain access to the Chinese market. We were going to use the magic of Microsoft Word to AutoSummarize this installment, too, but there’s actually one fairly fascinating bit we didn’t want to lose to the summation.
  33. in other news
    Rupert Murdoch, BrieflyThe Times’ front-page, 3,900–word, reportedly Jill Abramson-edited investigation of Rupert Murdoch in ten sentences, thanks to Microsoft Word’s AutoSummary: Mr. Murdoch’s Fox stations reached nearly 39 percent, meaning he would have to sell some. A strike force of Mr. Murdoch’s lobbyists joined other media companies in working on the issue. It turns out he had a business connection to Mr. Murdoch. Political Relations Over time, Mr. Murdoch has shown an ability to adapt to changing political winds. Mr. Murdoch’s trajectory in the United States has been similar. Mr. Chernin and Mr. Murdoch publicly denied making the threat. Media Ownership Rules It was a fortunate time for Mr. Murdoch, whose business interests and political ideology were in ascendancy. Ms. Salamon initially dismissed Mr. Murdoch. Don’t worry: The full version doesn’t contain anything new about the guy, either. Murdoch Reaches Out for Even More [NYT]
  34. in other news
    Would Hillary Put Jack Bauer in Charge of Iraq? Spelunking in the Clintons’ financial disclosures brings all sorts of rewards. First came the mini-skirmish about Bill’s lucrative teleconferencing with Hong Kong on an anniversary of 9/11, defused with an instant Clintonian classic (“It was 9/10 where I was”). Now there’s a fascinating nugget in Bill and Hillary’s recently dissolved blind trust, which the couple just divested to avoid conflicts of interest. We’ll say! One of the trust’s holdings was stock in News Corp. This makes Hillary a (admittedly unaware) shareholder in the Post and Fox News — a fact akin to, say, Daniel Goldstein discovering he’s invested in Forest City Ratner. But it’s too bad she got out when she did — has a Democrat ever owned The Wall Street Journal? Clintons’ Trust Invested in News Corp. and Berkshire [Bloomberg]
  35. in other news
    Rejected Proposal Shows Bancrofts Really, Really, Really Hate Rupert Murdoch So how much exactly does the Bancroft family dislike, distrust, and generally feel icky about Rupert Murdoch? Last week the family’s lawyers drafted a proposal to protect the paper’s editorial independence in the event of a sale, and the family rejected it as insufficiently strong. Tim Rutten at the L.A. Times got his hands on the plan, which he calls “an extraordinary document — unusual in the severity of its prescriptions; stunning in its unspoken assumption of Murdoch’s reflexive bad faith.” So what were the proposals? A few statements of principle — “the clear separation of news and opinion,” “the freedom to report the news free from fear or favor and to express opinions critical of governmental agencies, interest groups, management, customers and others with a stake in the success of the company,” and the like — combined with a board-of-directors subcommittee called the “Special Committee on Editorial and Journalistic Independence and Integrity,” basically charged with protecting those principles.
  36. in other news
    Rupert Murdoch, Constructivist “Constructive” was the word coming out of yesterday’s meeting between Rupert Murdoch and the Bancroft family. In such cases, “constructive” usually means the sides haven’t agreed on a single thing but will talk again. We know that the conversation ran far longer than expected, about four hours (good news for Murdoch), and stalled over the issue of editorial independence (good news for wary Wall Street Journal writers). See, the Bancrofts want the Journal’s staff to report to a family-run board completely outside the News Corp. structure. Murdoch finds the idea unworkable and counterproposed an “independent” governing board like the one he set up for the London Times when he bought it in 1981. Of course, upon buying the Times, Rupe wasted no time before muscling out its editor, board or no board.
  37. the morning line
    Murdoch’s Meeting • Now, finally, inevitably, the Bancroft family has announced it would “consider” selling Dow Jones. The rest is hemming and hedging, but do click through for the most ridiculously villainous photo of Murdoch the Times has ever run. [NYT] • Leroy Comria, a city councilman, has been issued police protection after another councilman’s aide kinda sorta threatened to assassinate him. Why? Because Comria wouldn’t vote to rename a street in honor of Black Nationalist Sonny Carson. [NYP] • While Bloomberg wants to increase the city’s real-estate tax cut from 5 to 8.5 percent, renters are screwed again — looks like the Christine Quinn–proposed $300 refund to the city tenants won’t happen. [NYDN] • Columbia University, squeezed by the AG’s office over an alleged violation of student-loan laws, denies any wrongdoing — but agrees to pay up to a million dollars nonetheless. [amNY] • And, in a possible first, the Hotel Chelsea Blog has inspired a documentary, Living With Legends. The last outpost of bohemia, gentrification, whither New York, blah blah. [WNBC]
  38. in other news
    Get Yer Fox Business Channel, Cheap!By now, everyone knows that the key to Rupert Murdoch’s bid for Dow Jones — the synergistic centerpiece that makes the whole thing make sense — is his plan to integrate the Wall Street Journal with his new Fox Business Channel. But let’s step back and learn a little more about this forthcoming CNBC rival. A report in Fortune sheds some timely light on the cable channel, and, as it turns out, the thing looks surprisingly, um, budget-conscious. Insiders tell Fortune that News Corp. has set aside $100 million in initial capital. For comparison, that’s a quarter of the sum Murdoch put up for Fox News — and that was more than a decade ago. Talent-wise, News Corp. appears to be hiring about 300 people, also a very modest number. Of course, one can understand Rupe’s wariness: It’s a field littered with failures (CNNfn and the Financial News Network come to mind). But Murdoch has gone up against tough odds before — but you know the Bancrofts will be just thrilled to learn their crown jewel is set to be paired with a cubic zirconium. A Cable Network On a Shoestring [Fortune via CNNMoney]
  39. in other news
    Rupert Goes Green — Except for That Whole Using-Tons-of-Paper Thing Maybe John Kerry’s right, and environmentalism truly isn’t a partisan issue anymore. How else to explain the latest passenger on the bandwagon, Rupert Murdoch, who has just promised to take his News Corporation carbon-neutral within four years? An ultracheery news item — in the Post, of course — breaks down the massive undertaking into smaller initiatives. For instance, the 20th Century Fox lot will switch to solar-powered golf carts. The 24 crew will use biodiesel-powered generators for outdoor scenes. (That must well complement the show’s commitment to recycling: How many times has Jack gone rogue? CTU been invaded? Vice-president conspired?) Apparently this should go a long way toward negating the 641,150 tons of carbon News Corp. belched out in 2006 alone. But environmentally friendly explosions aside, we can’t help but notice one little problem.
  40. company town
    Of Course Gordon Gekko Is a Hedge-Fund ManagerFINANCE • Gordon Gekko is back! Michael Douglas will reprise his Oscar-winning Wall Street role, only this time as a hedge-fund magnate. [NYT] • James Simons tops a list of Wall Street’s highest earners. [Forbes] • Two of Rudy Giuliani’s firms represented both a creditor and a debtor in a bankruptcy case, a possible conflict of interest that was not disclosed to the judge. [WSJ]
  41. company town
    Hedge-Fund Managers Can’t Get Over AerosmithFINANCE • At this year’s 2007 Robin Hood benefit, philanthropic hedge funders paid $400,000 to sing a song with Aerosmith, and $1.3 million for dinner with Mario Batali. [NYT] • Hafiz Naseem, a junior investment banker at Credit Suisse, was charged with insider trading after he tipped off associates in Pakistan about deals, including the TXU buyout, before they were made public. [NYT] • Google is the No.1 preferred employer for MBA students, with more traditional companies McKinsey and Goldman taking the next two slots. [Fortune via CNNMoney]
  42. in other news
    Murdoch Won’t Meddle With ‘Journal’ Edit — But Wants Shorter Articles, More D.C. Coverage, and Is Flummoxed By Walt MossbergRupert Murdoch has today gone to — of all places — the Times to make a very public case for his Wall Street Journal bid. We were sold on the story by its photo alone, of Rupe luxuriating on a white couch — sorry, a “taupe sofa,” according to Richard Siklos and Andrew Ross Sorkin’s account — but it got even better as we read on. The mogul makes a number of specific points about how he’d improve the paper. He’s bored by some long articles and wants to take the Saturday Journal glossy to compete with the Times Magazine. He’d like to see more coverage of Washington. He reads but doesn’t quite “get” tech columnist Walt Mossberg. Then there are the Rupert classics: globalize and synergize. Television! India! China! (The Great Wall Street Journal?) Those ideas of change aside, Murdoch swears that he “won’t meddle” with the editorial side or cut staff. Unless he will: “I’m not saying it’s going to be a holiday camp for everybody,” he says. The paper’s union rep is already organizing an e-mail drive asking the Bancrofts to stay strong. Murdoch on Owning the Wall Street Journal [NYT]
  43. company town
    Murdoch Makes a Move on Dow JonesMEDIA • News Corp. made an unsolicited offer of $60 a share for Dow Jones today, sending the share price up 58 percent on the news before trading was suspended. [CNBC] • GQ auctioned off a one-month internship in its marketing department on eBay. The winner paid $30,200 — likely more than a marketing assistant makes in a year. [eBay via Media Mob/NYO] • Contrarian Christopher Hitchens called the Virginia Tech shootings a “non-story” at the annual ASME board meeting yesterday. [Fishbowl NY/Mediabistro]
  44. in other news
    Rupert Murdoch Is Shocked, Shocked by ScandalmongeringAt the McGraw-Hill Media Summit yesterday, Rupert Murdoch confirmed that his Fox Business Channel will debut in the fall of this year, and he explained how it will differ from its GE-owned competition, CNBC: It will be more restrained and responsible. “They leap on every scandal,” he said of CNBC. Murdoch’s New York Post, for example, today displayed News Corp.’s vaunted corporate restraint in the face of scandal. “Anna Nicole Mystery: Was It Murder?” asks its front page, soberly. — Lori Fradkin News Corp. Plans Fox Business Channel This Fall [AP via USAT]
  45. in other news
    A 24 Fox Doesn’t Want You to SeeNews Corp. has just posted its figures for the latest quarter, and ouch. The profits at Rupert Murdoch’s behemoth have dropped 24 percent compared to last year. The movie division is doing splendidly — Fox’s earnings jumped 57 percent, with a good chunk of the $470 million take attributed to the ultraprofitable Borat. The problems are on the TV end: Broadcast profits are down. Then there’s MyNetworkTV, a blatantly doomed “mini-network” that sounds scarily inspired by Murdoch’s purchase of MySpace (another costly exercise with no clear yield in sight). Even the man himself admits MyNetwork has performed “far below expectations.” No word on how Rupe’s quixotic devotion to the Post is affecting the bottom line; our uneducated guess is, however, it’s nothing a mere twinge of Sasha Baron Cohen’s mustache can’t erase. News Corp. Quarterly Profit Declined 24% [Crain’s]
  46. in the magazine
    Five More Things You Didn’t Know About Judith ReganLast week we learned that recently deposed book editor Judith Regan kept all sorts of weird things in her office, including clothes, her kids’ report cards, and an enormous portrait of herself. In this week’s New York, Vanessa Grigoriadis tells us so much more about the woman: 1. While all the O.J.-Jews-firing saga was going on, Regan was on a 21-day liquid fast — no chewing allowed! — that allowed her to eat only an “infusion of berry drinks, enzyme shots, hot tea, live juice, and a once-a-day treat of soup — a mélange of carrots, sweet potatoes, and spinach puréed in the Cuisinart.”
  47. gossipmonger
    Rupert Knows Whether Judith Regan’s Kids Are Actually Honor StudentsLawyers for HarperCollins are in possession of Judith Regan’s financial statements, will, divorce papers, photographs of her children, unopened Christmas gifts, and a 20-by-30-foot painting of her, among other things. Because she left them all at that office. Ralph Ellison didn’t like Norman Mailer and his beat pals because they reduced the world to sex. As Harvey Weinstein was buying the rights to her movie, Mandy Moore was making out with D.J. AM. Hugo Chavez tried to meet Gisele when they were both in Rio, but she shot him down. Owen Wilson hung out with Kate Hudson in Australia.
  48. office-party patrol
    Rupert Murdoch Wishes You a Merry ChristmasHappy HolidaysThere’s a general rule of thumb that work events are always held on Monday through Thursday nights, because Fridays are reserved for real friends or for family. Who could flout that rule? Rupert Murdoch, of course, who held the annual holiday party — and it’s called a holiday party, not a Christmas party, Bill O’Reilly — for all New York News Corporation employees Friday night. It’s a huge event, for everyone from HarperCollins editors to Fox 5 local-news guys to 20th Century Fox PR people to Fox News ideologues to all their associated sales teams and managerial staffs and all that. Naturally, Julia Allison was there, and after the jump she takes you on a tour of Rupert’s world, with stops for frat-party booze and trans-fatty food. Yum!
  49. in other news
    News Corp. Continues Staying Classy From the front page of today’s Post. It’s almost like they think they’re — how to put it? — getting away with murder. Earlier: News Corp. Stays Classy, Cancels O.J. Project
  50. it just happened
    News Corp. Stays Classy, Cancels O.J. ProjectWord is just out that News Corporation has canceled both O.J. Simpson’s scheduled book, If I Did It, set to be published by Judith Regan’s imprint of News Corp.’s HarperCollins publishers, and the accompanying two-part television special, to be hosted by Regan, for News Corp.’s Fox network. Because, of course, any time you have O.J. Simpson, Judith Regan, Rupert Murdoch, and Roger Ailes involved in a decision, you’ve got to expect them to take the high road. News Corp. Cancels O.J. Simpsons Book and TV Special [FoxNews.com]