MediaFile

Murdoch says no to U.S. government newspaper bailout

May 28, 2009

News Corp Chief Executive and newspaper empire builder Rupert Murdoch showed up on the Fox Business Network (which he owns) on Thursday to talk about the future, or lack thereof, of newspapers.

Two key points: News Corp’s papers, which in the United States include The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and the Ottaway chain of local dailies, will not take government money to help them stay afloat; and there is private financing for media companies out there. Here’s what Murdoch said on those topics, and more. (Thanks for FBN for this transcript)

On how newspapers will make money in the future
“Newspapers will make money the way we make it now – from our readers, from our advertisers. Newspapers may look very different. Instead of an analog product printed on paper, you may get it on a panel which will be mobile, which will receive the whole newspaper over the air, and be updated every hour or two. All of these things are possible and some of the greatest electronics companies in the world are working on this right now. I think it’s two or three years away before they get introduced in a big way and then it will probably take ten to fifteen years for the public to swing over.” …

On the future of newspapers on the Web:
“You’re going to have to pay for your favorite newspaper on the Web. [Free content online]…that’s going to stop. Newspapers will be selling subscriptions on the Web. The whole thing [premium content] will be there. The Web as it is today will be vastly improved, they’ll be much in them and you’ll pay for them.

“But there will be other platforms…You’ll be able to get the guts or the main headlines and alerts and everything on your Blackberry, your Palm or whatever, all day long. People need news. Communities live on news about their communities to be able to live and enjoy the world.”

On whether newspapers will receive a bailout from the government:
“We would never take money from the government. We’d give up our freedoms and everything else to criticize or to play our full role in the community. Nothing that News owns will ever take money from the government and I don’t believe even the New York Times would. I don’t think the government would even do it. They’d realize this would be the end of it.”

On whether there is private financing available to media companies:
“There is private money. The people who have left, who put in the private money into these highly leverage situations have probably lost them and the banks that allowed them to leverage up, may have lost half their money. That’s life. That’s capitalism.”

On mistakes made by print media companies:

“There is a case of newspapers rushing on the Web to try and get a bigger audience, more attention for themselves, have damaged themselves. And now they’re going to have to pull back from that and say, hey, we are going to charge for this.”

On the Tribune company:

“I bet you they’re still making money individually but they can’t pay their interest bills. Bankruptcy doesn’t mean the end of a newspaper. It just means someone is going to buy them from a bank. … [In Chicago] one newspaper will go away. It’s very hard to see how the Sun-Times can keep going. I thought it was hard when I owned it ten years ago.”

Comments
6 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

Tell him he’s Dreaming!. I get all my news for free on line.

Posted by Colindale | Report as abusive
 

“We would never take money from the government.” He might have to start telling the truth.

Posted by harry | Report as abusive
 

He’s totally right. Government money will always bring with it government control, even when it’s well meaning. No one wants the newspapers to be run by the goverment.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v =GFEa_wTdTbo (hilarious bailout video)

 

Uh, Rupert, I know you’ve owned a lot of papers, but it’s been 22 years, not 10, since you owned the Sun Times.

Posted by Bail M | Report as abusive
 

Murdoch is going senile. He says he owned the Chicago Sun-Times 10 years ago — he bought it in 1983 and sold it three years later, in 1986. That was 23 years ago. And Chicago was glad to see him go.

Posted by Stephanie | Report as abusive
 

all this is a smoke screen,there is no way the democratic party are going to let their best support become none existent.the obama government will give the same amount consideration it is giving to their union supporters,to the new york times etc.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive
 

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