Martyr Murdoch Sensitive Over 'Tyrant' Tirades

10 August 2007

NEW YORK: Following the present-ation of News Corporation's full-year financial results on Wednesday, chairman/ceo Rupert Murdoch revealed his sensitive inner self, bruised during his three-month siege of Dow Jones by "criticism normally levelled at a genocidal tyrant".

He endured this censure, he said, only because of his conviction that NewsCorp and Dow Jones were a "perfect fit" for a digital age. A match that "greatly expands the information side of our company, and positions us to become the strongest company in the world in both information and entertainment".

Those observers who have followed the acquisition saga from its earliest days are puzzled at the media mogul's emotive reference to comparisons with "genocidal tyrants".

They recall no recriminations about ethnic cleansing, only references to a proprietor known for ordering his serried ranks of editors worldwide to toe whatever political or commercial line that suits his ambition of the moment.

And fire them if they don't.

However, the die is cast and the deal done - subject only to approval by the Federal Communications Commission - which given its three to two Republican majority is unlikely to disappoint the GOP's most fervent fan. Despite Democrat commissioner Michael Copps's warning earlier this week: "I hope nobody views [the FCC's approval] as a slam-dunk."

Owning Dow Jones, Murdoch admitted, would be "the perfect complement" to his planned twenty-four-hour Fox Business news channel. Moreover, he expects the savings from integrating NewsCorp and Dow Jones operations to be "well in excess of $50m".

He is also "looking very seriously" at abolishing subscription charges on the Wall Street Journal's website - despite the fact that the site currently has nearly one milion paying subscribers.

  • NewsCorp's full year to June 30 achieved 15% operating income growth to $4.45 billion (€3.22bn; £2.19bn) versus $3.87bn in 2006.

    Net income was $ 3.43bn compared with $2.32bn a year earlier.

    The glowing picture was aided by record results at Filmed Entertainment, Cable Network Programming, Magazines and Inserts and Direct Broadcast Satellite segments.

    To view the full statement of accounts click here.

    Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff