An interesting piece in Foreign Policy takes some of the best prejudices against Ruper Murdoch and discusses the assumptions.
- He is the world’ most powerful media mogul : not for long
Setbacks in China, small manoeuvers margins in the Internet (considering market capitalization, NewsCorp is on par with Disney around $89bn but behing Time Warner @81bn, and far far from Google ($150bn)
- Murdoch puts money ahead of ideology : not really
pro small business, pro average reader, anti-union
- Murdoch’s web strategy was perfectly timed : as if
too small vs. Internet titans (Skype bought by eBay for $4bn, YouTube for $1.7bn)
- NewsCorp is a family business : for now
It is becoming likely that Chernin might jump in the CEO seat after Murdoch’s gone.
- Murdoch has given up on China : no way
Considering his recent setbacks, one might think this, but Star is an pan-Asian success, he is currently redefining his strategy, pushing contents rather than distribution (thanks to also to its online presence).
- Murdoch hates Europe : only half right
more precisely the European Union as a political organisation with its layers of bureaucrats. Despite all that, Europe is still News Corp.’s second biggest market after the United States, with fiscal 2006 revenues of $7.6 billion (most of it from Britain though). Rebuffed in his attempts to do deals in Germany and France, he has lately been focusing on the faster-growing periphery. In the past two years, he’s acquired interests in TV stations in Poland and Turkey. His biggest bet is an Italian satellite TV network acquired from government-owned Telecom Italia for roughly $1 billion. Last year, Sky Italia picked up more than 400,000 new subscribers and cut its operating losses from $61 million to $13 million.
- Murdoch is a tyrant : no
An underappreciated sense of humor and a willingness to tolerate and even encourage risk-taking across his vast empire. Those traits however coexist alongside the more conventional image, which is also true, of Rupert the hands-on polemicist and tough-minded executive with a knack for striking hard and tacking fast.Additional readings :
Personally, I first became acquainted to Murdoch in the excellent Autumn of the Moguls: My Misadventures with the Titans, Poseurs, and Money Guys Who Mastered and Messed Up Big Media by Michael Wolff, who is a typical American media columnist, in the way he depicts with talent the media industry and its trends, without forgetting to portray himself in the big picture. Murdoch appears as the ultimate Media Mogul, and displays as well an honest guy with a profound sense of business.
No French version