Murdoch in Churchillian Mode; Warns Staff of Bleak Times to Come

21 December 2001

Adopting a stance reminiscent of Sir Winston Churchill in the bleakest days of World War II (albeit in sub-Churchillian prose) Rupert Murdoch emailed News Corporation staff worldwide to warn of a “very difficult year ahead”.

Quoth the morose mogul: “Momentous events beginning on September 11 – and economic conditions beginning long before that – have forced every NewsCorp company to find ways to streamline its operations. I have little doubt that next year will be another very difficult one - which should make us only more determined to succeed at every level.”

“The downturn of the economy, fierce competition in our various media markets and the shock of a sudden war have called for exceptional dedication and performance on everybody's part,” he continued. “In our businesses around the world, you have responded wonderfully. “

Murdoch thanked his 34,000-strong workforce for their “wonderful” response to the recession and the tragedies in New York and Washington. He also expressed his gratitude for the “sacrifices” arising from a series of global cost-cutting measures. These had “entailed sacrifices, from cancelled holiday parties to tighter budgets of all sorts”, he wrote.

Our cost-cutting measures are proving to be invaluable as we seek to weather these difficult conditions without cutting jobs” [a failed aspiration, not least in the UK where several hundred staff now face unemployment rather than ‘cancelled holiday parties’].

The distinguished Australian-American then ventured boldly into the uncharted cosmos of purple prose: “Never has the work of an international media company been more valuable than it is right now,” he intoned, “as the world looks for fair, balanced and insightful news and information with renewed urgency – and looks to entertainment more gratefully than ever.”

He signed-off with an invitation to NewsCorp staff to email him direct with their responses – an opportunity many are expected to seize with vigor.

[WAMN invites readers with time on their hands over the holiday to concoct an appropriate and entirely fictitious response from a NewsCorp staffer to Mr Murdoch’s invitation (in not more than 100 words and consistent with the laws of libel and obscenity). A $50 Amazon gift voucher to the winner, whose offering will be printed in our January 2 issue. Email entries only please to, whose decision over such trivia is final.]

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