Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Will 'hacking' be Murdoch's version of rosebud?

"All these years, he’s been a tycoon, a media mogul -- and now it's as if he’s suddenly become Citizen Kane."

-- Roy Greenslade, speaking to The New York Times about Rupert Murdoch's influence over British politicians. Greenslade is a frequent critic of Gannett and its U.K. newspaper operations. He blogs about media for London's Guardian, which has been leading coverage of a phone-hacking scandal at newspapers owned by News Corp., which Murdoch and his family control.


Related: Media critic Howard Kurtz says Murdoch's News of the World "didn’t exactly discover phone hacking. Back in 1998, the Cincinnati Enquirer paid $10 million and apologized to Chiquita Brands after a reporter obtained voice-mail messages from a company executive 'in violation of the law,' the paper acknowledged."


  1. Yes, the Enquirer's banana story is the same as this News of the World hacking scandal, and it had the same repercussions. It blew up the Enquirer resulting in shifting of execs and Calinan took advantage of it, and Murdoch shuttered the News of the World. Or did he really. He also owns the daily scandal sheeting the Sun (bare breasted page 3 girls) and so could just announce a Sunday edition of the Sun and lo and behold the News of the World continues to exist.
    It's also like this Gannett newsletter idea we are seeing emerge. Translate the newspapers into newsletters and you save all this cash in printing then wait to be reborn when the digital age finally arrives. Newsletter gives the former paper a toehold in the market for readers to follow in the meantime.
    Won't work, for obvious reasons. Who reads newsletters but professionals. Not much there for housewives or kids because they are too specialist.
    Newsletters aimed at a broader audience are boring.
    BTW, the latest from the Murdoch implosion is that he's now considering selling off all of his British newspaper properties, and probably the Wall Street Journal and New York Post.
    Murdoch sees his financial future being in satellite TV with BSkyB which has a monopoly he couldn't have in the United States. He couldn't have it in the United States because of our anti-trust laws and he wouldn't have it in Britain if he didn't kiss up to politicians and the powers that be.
    See the parallels with the Cincy Enguirer?

  2. I see you are continuing your track record of bad headlines. Comparing rosebud and hacking? Perhaps you are fully embracing new media, where bloggers and the like don't worry about what's right, but rather what's convenient, even if it doesn't exactly fit?

  3. 8:51 Oh, it fits fine. Both Hearst and Murdoch are media barons. Rosebud was the nickname for a body part of Marion Davis's that I will refrain from further mentioning on modesty grounds (think about it). It was his relationship with her Rosebud that shook his empire, just as the hacking case is threatening to bring down Cameron's goverrnment in England (perhaps only Cameron, but I think it's broader involvement of politicians.) When you cozy up to someone, this sort of backlash can happen, so I see what Jim is saying here.

  4. p.s. I guess it's not taught in schools these days, but Hearst newspapers never ran an ad for that movie, and unleashed columnists to bring down Orson Welles. It didn't work because Welles was cleverer, although he certainly felt the sting.
    Now do a Google search on recent news involving George Michaels, and draw your own conclusions. Geez. Idiots.

  5. Never pick a fight with someone who buys his ink by the barrel _ unless you are an artist who has a whole palate of colored paints.

  6. Citizen Kane and Clockwork Orange my favorite movies, and there are GCI connection there, too.

  7. Cardinal Bernardin?


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