Murdoch’s De-Risked With Disney

Tom Watson can barely contain himself: “This is the end of an era for the Murdochs who after decades of aggressive empire expansion are now in retreat.” The left is celebrating because their blood enemy of half-a-century is “in retreat”. If it is a retreat then it is a luxurious one. Disney is paying $52 billion for the Fox assets Murdoch is selling, which includes Sky in the UK. It pleases Rupert’s legion of enemies that he has lost the battle for total control of Sky…

As some of the more sober analysis on the business pages has noted, Fox stock is up 30% since the bid speculation started; Murdoch is selling at the top. Disney is gearing up for a streaming war with Netflix, Amazon and Apple. Content libraries are the key weapon in that war. Fox is getting a full premium for that treasure without the risk of becoming a casualty. Rupert could again – as he was at the dawn of satellite television – be ahead of the game. The billions in profits generated by Sky may dazzle investors now; those with more vision can see that the future of universal fast broadband and the shift to mobile means this tsunami of subscription revenue could recede very quickly. The Pay TV assets Murdoch has sold to Disney could never have it better…

Murdoch still has control of Fox News, the most lucrative news channel on earth. He still has News Corp’s newspapers around the world and a big chunk of Mickey Mouse’s stock. Fox also now has billions in cash and cash flow with which to make Murdoch’s next move…

UPDATE: Murdoch tells Maria Bartiromo that he wants to be out of entertainment and in real-time news:

Give Them What They Want

Last night Guido went to see Ink at the theatre. Not the usual luvvie whine about Rupert Murdoch and The Sun. Guido paid £80 for his ticket and it was well worth it…

Gove on Watson

Michael Gove on Tom Watson:

“Tom believes Rupert Murdoch picks the England cricket 1st 11 and England rugby 1st 15, as well as deciding who’s on Britain’s Got Talent.”

Canary’s “Batsh*t” Conspiracy Theory About Sun’s Front Page

Here’s the pro-Corbyn Canary claiming that “This was what The Sun chose to put on its front page in the aftermath” of the Manchester Arena attack. As Dominic Ponsford, the editor of the Press Gazette, put it, this is “Batsh*t reporting”.

Anyone who had the slightest understanding would realise that this was put out before the tragic news from Manchester broke. The actual front page splash in The Sun’s second edition was

At best the Canary is batsh*t crazy or more likely deliberately misleading readers out of left-wing malice towards The Sun. One reader is the Labour MP Barry Sheerman:

In reality News UK gave £100,000 to a fund for Manchester victims and Sun readers have so far donated £60,000 to the fund. Barry Sheerman is an idiot.

Murdoch Requests Correction Over Guardian Fake News

Anyone with a Twitter account will at some point have seen one of the many memes quoting Rupert Murdoch on why he backs Brexit: “When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice“. The quote was first attributed to him by Anthony Hilton in the Standard and repeated in the Guardian and Indy, as well has being shared thousands and thousands of times on social media by the usual Murdophobes. Today Rupert has written to the Guardian to demand a correction:

“There is much fake news published about me, but let me make clear that I have never uttered those words.”

Sure all those ‘press ethics’ campaigners will be posting prominent corrections on their Twitter accounts…

Murdoch’s Sky Takeover

The usual bed-wetters will freak out at the news that Rupert Murdoch is offering £18.5 billion for the 60.9% of Sky that 21st Century Fox does not already control. Sky shares jumped 32% on the news. Before Murdoch was rudely interrupted by the Leveson Inquiry he was poised to take control of Sky. Expect the BBC-Guardian axis to go into meltdown. After Brexit and Trump, Rupert getting control of the rest of Sky will just be the icing on the cake for luvvies and snowflakes across the land…

Back of the Net! Another Big Murdoch Money Deal For Coogan

Murdoch-hating coke and hookers aficionado Steve Coogan has an impressive record of slagging off Rupe while taking his money. Coogan has banged on about “Rupert Murdoch’s toxic legacy” and the “News International protection racket” for years, all while selling his shows Places of My Life and Mid Morning Matters to Sky for top whack. What do you know, Coogan has just agreed to trouser even more of the ‘Murdoch shilling’:

“Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon are taking their fine dining, gentle bickering, ruminations on getting old and endless impersonations of Michael Caine to Sky TV. After two highly successful series of The Trip on BBC2, the third series will be broadcast on Sky Atlantic.”

Back in 2012, Guido bumped into Coogan at a Hacked Off rally and asked him if he thought the deals made him a massive hypocrite. He comically disagreed:

“I am aware of it but I see a flipside, I think it makes me even braver. It would be even more hypocritical if I took his money and didn’t criticise him. What I’m doing puts me in even more danger.”

Congratulations Steve on your bravery and your pay cheque!

Les Hinton on #AntiMurdochMania

Les Hinton on the #AntiMurdochMania of Nick Davies et al…

“Like some ideological vanguard, Rupert Murdoch and his lieutenants have used their news outlets to shift the centre of power – the centre of thinking – far over to the right. Which all goes to show that Murdoch is at the heart of a neoliberal, capitalist plot to destroy the world. Of course he is.

None of Davies’s diatribe is original. It is the bog-standard rant of an anarchist after he’s chucked bricks through a McDonald’s window.

But it did open my eyes to the truth about the militant wing of AntiMurdochMania. The Murdoch they hate doesn’t exist. This view of him is so risible, so nuts, it must be a hallucination. It’s a crowd-sourced apparition, a vessel where these people pour their rage and grief about big business, great power, global inequity and everything else they see wrong with the world. This virtual Murdoch is their devil.”

Miliband v Murdoch

The Tories have hit back with a fresh attack ad from last night:

Ed Miliband thinks he's tough, but Labour MPs think he's just not up to it.SHARE this to let friends decide for themselves.

Posted by Conservatives on Friday, 27 March 2015

To have been a fly on the wall…

Hacked Off Seek EU Diktat to Force Through New Press Laws Watson Backs Brussels Directive on Media Ownership

After Sajid Javid signalled that he wanted to put the issue of press regulation “to bed”, Hacked Off last night called for an EU directive to force through new laws and overrule the Culture Secretary. Evan Harris and Natalie Fenton, two of the group’s directors, endorsed a new campaign aiming to secure a petition of one million signatures and seek a diktat from Brussels to set limits on media ownership at a European level.

The campaign, which has the somewhat sinister name ‘Reclaim the Media’, is backed by the Green MP Caroline Lucas, the National Union of Journalists, the Trades Union Council and Labour’s Tom Watson, who was due to chair last night’s meeting but failed to attend after he was “unavoidably detained in his constituency”Evan Harris’ face told you everything you need to know about the prospects for Hacked Off’s latest doomed venture…

Click to enlarge.

MediaGuido was particularly interested by a series of graphs provided at the meeting. Reclaim the Media’s campaign for plurality focuses on the Murdoch and Rothermere titles, despite their own evidence showing that it is actually the BBC that enjoys unrivalled dominance in the news industry. Confused Labour MP John McDonnell suggested the motives were personal: “there are thousands of asylum seekers locked up because the government is pandering to the racism of the Daily Mail”, adding that MPs were “petrified by the bucket of sh*t that The Sun pours on you”. Yet according to their own evidence it isn’t the Mail or the Sun that threaten press plurality, it is the BBC…

Rupert Murdoch's letter to John Whittingdale

Ever Seen Michael Wolff & Murdoch in the Same Room?

It’s uncanny…

UPDATE: He’s a MediaGuido.com reader:

News International Rebrands as News UK

It’s not just editorial changes at all the papers at Wapping, now News International itself is no more. This morning it became News UK, apparently so named to reflect Murdoch’s “ongoing commitment” to the UK.

Which will upset the haters…

EU Lefties Trying to Ban Murdoch, Axel Springer and Berlusconi

You would never have guessed the European Initiative for Media Pluralism was a nefarious group of press-hating leftist Leveson-lovers from their name, would you? The EU’s version of Hacked Off is trying to have a directive passed by the European Commission that would have a drastic impact on media moguls. They are demanding:

  1. Effective legislation to avoid concentration of ownership in the media and advertisement sectors;
  2. Guaranteed independence of supervisory bodies, with a politically and culturally balanced and socially diverse membership;
  3. Definition of conflict of interests with media ownership;
  4. Broadcast, print and online media should be required to submit to a national media authority sufficient ownership information to allow identification of the beneficial and ultimate owners of media outlets.

Of course Hugh Grant is involved, meeting here with Neelie Kroes, the European Commission’s ‘Big Sister’:

Germany’s Axel Springer media group reaches 52% of the population via Bild alone, Berlusconi in Italy owns 3 out of 7 broadcast channels. Their real goal is betrayed in the ‘about’ section of their website: “Some, notably the UK, suffer from problems of excessive concentration leading to undue influence of certain economic groups, notably Murdoch’s media empire, over political processes”. Arguably Berlusconi’s media empire has more influence over political processes.  By coincidence all three media groups are, to varying degrees, right-of-centre and sceptical of Brussels…

Murdoch Plans 7 Day Times

7-day-times

The editor of The Times, James Harding, resigned after becoming aware that he no longer enjoyed the confidence of Rupert Murdoch. John Witherow, the long-serving editor of The Sunday Times, is the front-runner to be appointed editor of The Times. News Corporation is reported to have taken legal advice on whether it could merge the two newspapers into a more economic seven-day operation. During the Harding era broadsheet newspaper circulations have collapsed:

circulation-falls

rupert-murdochWhen he bought the paper in 1981 Rupert Murdoch gave an undertaking “to preserve the separate identities of The Times and The Sunday Times.” Given that The Times is losing nearly a million pounds a week that is an undertaking that is no longer viable in the digital age. In the circumstances the government is unlikely to stand in the way of a rationalisation of the papers into a 7-day operation, like its tabloid sister The Sun…

Murdoch Backs Boris Mania

Boris Mania is in full flow today as a YouGov/Sun poll finds that the Tories would close Labour’s lead to just 1% if the London Mayor replaced Dave as leader. Cameron versus Miliband sees Labour take a six point lead, but if Boris were in charge Ed’s rating would fall and the Tories’ popularity would rocket up. No wonder Dave was so testy yesterday…

But could it all be the work of his sinister backer? The Mayor is hardly making hard work for conspiracy theorists. BoJo invited Uncle Rupe to the Olympic swimming finals and two days later he receives a very favourable poll in the Sun:

What was it Murdoch said about how to find out what he really thinks?

Murdoch Men Mystified By News Corp Split

Guido hears that Rupert Murdoch’s decision to separate News Corporation’s money-making arm from its publishing arm left senior employees completely in the dark as to what lies in store for the future of the company. Chatting to News Corp employees last night, Guido was told chaos is reaching such a stage that hacks are only half joking when they say they have had to establish shadow newsrooms where the ultimate scoop is finding out whether or not they will be keeping their jobs. Talk about rogue reporters…

Guido also put it to them that News Group, the UK newspaper wing of the business, doesn’t pay any tax. The denial was pretty damning:

Look, The Sun is the only paper that makes a profit, The Times loses money every day of the week. It’s pretty hard to pay any tax when you’re haemorrhaging money like that. The print media is on the way out, for sure.”

Did someone say dead tree press?

Rupert Murdoch tells Fox News he’s given up on buying BSkyB…

“We’ve moved on from our thinking in that. That was billions and billions of dollars and if Britain doesn’t want them, we’ll find a place to put them here.”

Scrapbook Scooped by Boris Website

Labour are getting worked up over claims made by Political Scrapbook that Boris Johnson had secret dinner  in January 2011 with Rupert Murdoch just two days before the phone hacking investigation was launched. Their City Hall cronies have jumped on the bandwagon, insisting: “this is extremely serious, for the Mayor to not declare a meeting with Rupert Murdoch at the height of the phone-hacking crisis is truly scandalous”. Indeed, it would be scandalous and a great scoop, if it was actually the case. However, rather embarrassingly, a Boris spokesman points to the fact that the information has been on the Mayor’s website for nearly a year. Oh dear…

UPDATE: At the time of going to pixel the Indy are claiming they could not open the link provided to them by City Hall. Seems fine in the Guy Newsroom…

UPDATE II: The Beeb are covering this, but seem to have missed this quote from a Boris spokesman: “Details of the meetings have been published on Mayor’s website for the best part of a year.”

Mandelson Swears Brown Made War Call to Murdoch

Gordon Brown to Rupert Murdoch

If you have been watching BBC news or reading the Guardian you would think that Brown’s testimony was proven and Rupert Murdoch had made up the whole claim about Brown “declaring war”. At the Leveson Inquiry Lord Mandelson was questioned about the “war” call from Gordon Brown to Rupert Murdoch.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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Tory MP Nick Boles says what everyone thinks…

“There is a timidity and lack of ambition about Mrs May’s Government which means it constantly disappoints. Time to raise your game, Prime Minister.”

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