Rupert Murdoch is Letting Go
According to Daily Intel, Rupert Murdoch letting go of his positions on boards and separating his publishing business in the UK from his “lucrative, U.S.-based entertainment ventures” from his “scandal-ridden and money-losing publishing operations” in Britain.
… Things don’t look good for the Rupert and his beloved U.K. rags — or Rupert’s general presence in the U.K., the site of the phone-hacking scandal that set off the steady erosion of his reputation and power (along with that of his son and presumed heir-to-the-throne, James.) As one media analyst put it: “James and Rupert have decided that they are not welcome in the UK, and they’re right. There is an enforced emotional withdrawal from these assets because they are no longer useful [in terms of influence].”
Prior to the announcement, some News Corp. sources had suggested that the Murdochs might use the money from the sale of their stake in the publishing arm to finance a leveraged buyout of the film and entertainment division. It’s not exactly clear what these resignations mean for that possibility, though the Telegraph points out that doing so would relieve them of those tricky “shareholder pressures” and allow James to be appointed successor. Still, they added, “the grip of the Murdochs, finger by finger, has been loosened and it’s not in order to return triumphantly. It’s a permanent shift.” …Daily Intel
Wait! What does this mean for the Wall Street Journal?
It was not immediately clear whether Mr. Murdoch’s American newspaper and publishing interests would be affected by the moves announced Saturday. …David Carr, NYT
News Corp. officials are playing down the significance of the resignations, calling them “nothing more than a corporate housecleaning exercise.” Mr. Murdoch has said he has no plans to abandon his newspaper interests. …Washington Times
After a year of scandals and arrests, it finally looks as if Murdoch is abandoning Fleet Street, which back in the 1980s provided the revenues to launch his Fox Network in the U.S. If so, it is almost a Saigon Embassy moment for the British press, with the Murdoch helicopters on the roof, and the end of an era looming. …Daily Beast
(It’s not as though the Wall Street Journal retains enough integrity to make it worth saving…)