OLD Media Moves

Murdoch is a newspaper man at heart

May 10, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

James Brady, who writes a column for Forbes.com and previously worked at some of Rupert Murdoch’s papers, wrote that he believes that the News Corp. CEO already has some allies in the Bancroft family, which controls Dow Jones & Co. Murdoch made a $5 billion offer for the company that controls The Wall Street Journal last week.

James BradyBrady wrote, “Murdoch is a newspaperman and a son of a newspaperman, and he has been one since Sir Keith died and young Murdoch was summoned home from Oxford to take over and run the family’s newspapers in Adelaide, Australia. He knows the business. He can edit a news story, scale a photo, write a headline, choose a typeface; he knows what you should pay for newsprint, the price of ink and how to negotiate with the craft unions. And this deal could help jump-start his new Fox business news cable channel. He gets that stuff, too.

“This is no Carl Icahn buying or striving to buy a terrific property just to break it up and sell off the juicier parts. Murdoch knows the inherent value of a great news-gathering organization, especially in a knowledge economy–a few days later, Thomson would make an offer for Reuters Group. He appreciates the worth of a successful and serious daily newspaper. The New York Times calls him a ‘romantic’ about newspapers. But this is not a wealthy dilettante who thinks it might be fun to own a newspaper. This is the work Murdoch does.

“No tilting at windmills, nothing quixotic about him, either. He wouldn’t go public with an offer like this one without a reasonable expectation of success. He doesn’t make noise for shock effect or headlines.”

Read more here.

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