Friday, October 07, 2005

The demise of News Corp.

I lived in London in the early eighties when Robert Maxwell and Rupert Murdoch (both with the same initials: RM) upstaged the press scene.

(Left) Robert Maxwell; (right) Rupert Murdoch

They were really press barons. Maxwell had his newspaper business, his scientific publishing company (Pergamon Press and online service) and Murdoch had his newspaper business (The Times) and was branching out in cable television. (Jeffrey Archer wrote a book about them: The Fourth Estate). Maxwell did not survive, but Murdoch did so far. I saw a very sharp analysis of the survival of Murdoch’s empire from the desk of Paul Budde.

Rupert Murdoch – a true giant

Rupert Murdoch will forever be remembered as the media giant of our era – true, an autocratic and ruthless one, but a giant nevertheless. He is a remarkable man, and has probably had more to do with shaping the media world during the last 50 years than anyone else.

However, his empire is beginning to show cracks. The cracks are not only related to the internal changes within the family business, but that dynamic will most certainly hasten the process, especially once Rupert is out of the picture.
Nevertheless, the way he looks today, he could easily reign for another ten years or so.

But, apart from the family situation, important changes are taking place in the converged media, telecoms and IT worlds. And, while Rupert is showing leadership here also, it is highly unlikely that he will have enough time to dominate this new environment.

If anybody could mastermind the changes of convergence and come out on top it would be Rupert Murdoch – but it will be another five to ten years before this transition is complete.

Go to Paul's desk for the entire story.

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