Murdoch, Bancroft & Murdoch Esq.

October 17, 2008

murdoch.jpgThe big topic at News Corp’s annual meeting in New York on Friday was how the international media conglomerate will weather the financial crisis as advertising revenue looks like it will be on the skids for a while.

For that, along with Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch’s messages of resistance and hope in the face of financial scariness, see the story we ran on the wire earlier. MediaFile is more concerned with the younger generation that’s running News Corp these days.

So too are News Corp’s investors. One of them asked Murdoch how Natalie Bancroft — brought on to the board from the Bancroft family after it sold its controlling interest in Dow Jones (and The Wall Street Journal) to News Corp — would manage to be an effective director when she is better known as a “27-year-old, professionally trained opera singer based in Italy.”

“I will simply say she is one of the most diligent new directors I have ever seen. She has been to all branches and all arms of the company and has made a very close examination of it.” Murdoch added that she was too modest to address shareholders herself.

Then there was son James Murdoch, also on the board and chairman and chief executive of News Corp’s European and Asian operations. The same shareholder, whose name we didn’t catch, asked: “People have commented that James has no background or interest in newspapers. How is he finding the job of running News International in Britain, our biggest and most important newspaper business? … Is he comfortable with what News of the World did to Max Moseley, capturing that Nazi sex romp?” (Read here for that hot tamale.)

James’s response: “With respect to the newspapers, we’re only a few weeks away from our earnings statement so that would probably be inappropriate for me to comment [on]… It’s a great honor and a huge challenge as well to be involved and to be able to contribute to a franchise like News International and the great brands within it. [On News of the World], I have absolute faith in the journalists and editors… and I stand behind them.”

Financial crisis — do your worst; these kids are all right.

2 comments

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Hi Robert, the chap asking questions on my behalf was called Michael Halliday. I’ve had 10 rounds with Rupert at shareholder meetings over the years but couldn’t make the trip from Melbourne to New York this year.

What’s your email address as would like to send you our account of the News Corp annual meeting.

Regards, Stephen Mayne (smayne@crikey.com.au)

I find it interesting that the theme of integrity in Murdoch’s media empire didn’t come up for discussion.

It certainly is an issue in the current US election, with huge numbers of citizens
desperate for change, while Murdoch’s Fox News and Wall Street Journal agitate relentlessly for the Republican ticket (Rupert even went so far as to put radio talking-head Rush Limbaugh on the pages of the Wall St Journal)!

However, in just 14 days, the politics of ploys, stunts, slime, sleazy robocalls, and culture wars will be on the ballot! I’ll wager a bet that on Nov. 4th, the politics of Bush/Cheney, McCain/Palin, Karl Rove/Steve Schmidt, and Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, will be defeated.

Fellow American citizens – we need a massive turnout of citizens, and a landslide victory, because we know the Republicans will again try to steal this election at the polling stations, just like in 2000 and 2004!

People, let’s find the strength and courage to vote Obama/Biden into office and return honesty, decency, and integrity to American politics.

And starting Nov. 5th, let us together begin the hard work of repairing the immense damage these thieves and scoundrels, among them Rupert Murdoch, have done to our country and our people.