Murdoch Warns of Internet Threat to Newspaper Ad Dollars

15 April 2005

Media magnate Rupert Murdoch has rapped newspaper chiefs for failing to respond quickly enough to the advance of the internet.

He berated a meeting of the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Washington, telling them they had all been "remarkably complacent" about the threat of the online medium to the industry's advertising revenues.

He concedes he too was slow on the uptake during the first boom in the 1990s, but had learned his lesson where it hurt most - in the wallet.

Warned the chairman of global media company News Corporation, which owns the New York Post in the US and The Times and The Sun in the UK: "The threat of losing print advertising dollars to online media is very real."

He believes declining circulations and the relentless growth of online ads means newspapers have to find new ways of reaching younger people, who are turning away from traditional print media.

He dismisses most newspaper websites as "bland repurposing" of print content and wants them to become destinations such as search engines Yahoo! and Google.

His vision also includes bringing blogs into news coverage and linking text with video: "Our job now is to bring this content profitably into the broadband world ... and to garner our fair share, hopefully more than our fair share of the advertising dollars that will come from successfully converging these media."

Here endeth the lesson ...

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff