Murdoch on newspapers (and other things)

June 8, 2009

News Corp Chief Executive showed up for his latest interview on the Fox Business Network (which he owns) on Monday. Here is a transcript of some of his remarks. He covered a lot of ground, from tonight’s union concession vote at The Boston Globe to the future of newspapers and the inclusion of software on computers sold in China that will block access to certain websites. We are providing excerpts — we trimmed for length, most notably excising his comments on healthcare and taxes (We know it’s the Internet, but we had to shorten it up a bit. You can see or read the whole thing here.

On FOX Interactive possibly looking at job cuts:

“It’s too early to talk about job cuts. … We’ve put new management in there, they’ve been there three weeks and they’re making a close examination of it and they’ll no doubt set some new directions, strengthen other very strong parts of it, and you know, the advertising is at least double what Facebook has and it’s in pretty good shape. But there will be, I’m sure, changes with the new management.”

On Chase Carey assuming the titles of deputy chairman, president and chief operating officer July 1:
“No, we’re not making any commitments on that [being an heir apparent] at all. Chase is coming in to be my partner and right-hand, he was with us for 17 years before. I think he’s like coming home.”

On the upcoming vote for The Boston Globe:

“You know, Boston is a very highly unionized place and they may find that difficult but it’s a great newspaper and a great institution, the Boston Globe, and I can’t see it disappearing. Like all newspapers, I think it will change. We think of newspapers in the old-fashioned way, printed on crushed wood so to speak, with ink. It’s going to be digital. Within 10 years I believe nearly all newspapers will be delivered to you digitally either on your PC or on a development of the Kindle, shall we say…something that’s quite mobile and you can take around with you.”

On the future of newspapers and print media:

“Communications are changing totally and we’re moving into the digital age and it’s going to change newspapers. But if you’ve got a newspaper with a great name and a great reputation and you trust it, the people in that community are going to need access to your source of news. What we call newspapers today, I call ‘news organizations,’ journalistic enterprises, if you will. They’re the source of news. And people will reach it if it’s done well, whether they do it on a Blackberry or Kindle or a PC.”

“I can see the day maybe 20 years away where you don’t actually have paper and ink and printing presses. I think it will take a long time and I think it’s a generational thing that is happening. But there’s no doubt that younger people are not picking up the traditional newspapers.”

On China requiring PC makers to include censorship software:

“I’m not worried because we don’t do any business there, or so little that it doesn’t matter. Foreign media is not generally welcomed there. There are opportunities to have 5% of this or invest in new things that are happening there. But you cannot go in and say, start a newspaper or television or whatever. We have a little television channel we make in Shanghai which is allowed to go on cable networks in the Southeast to a fairly limited audience. We have a license forMySpace there and that will grow and be a very good site.”

On whether PC makers should go along with China’s requirements:

“They would have no option. It’s either those PCs or no PCs at all. You can’t expect great companies like Dell or HP to say we’re going to sell no computers in China at all. It’s too big, it’s too big a part of the world.”

On the recovery of the U.S. economy:

“We’re in very early days yet. Wait until unemployment goes to 10, 11%…and it will…Unemployment is going to go up. It’s going to take some time to get down. Perhaps three years to get it back. We probably and hopefully have hit a bottom here, where things will be pretty stable from now on, not nearly as good as they were a little while back, but it’s going to take time to climb out of it and so that’s okay. As far as we’re concerned, we know we can grow. We have a lot of things happening like new cable channels, we’re having a great few months now in our film company so you know we’re in pretty good shape.”

(Photo: Reuters)

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Bad news isn’t wine. It doesn’t improve with age.- Colin Powell

[...] In dem Interview auf auf Fox Business (Link zum Video) betonte Rupert Murdoch, dass sich Kommunikation verändere und wir uns in ein digitales Zeitalter bewegen würden, das die Zeitungen verändere. Was wir heute Zeitungen nennen, nenne er Nachrichtenorganisationen oder journalistische Unternehmen. Sie seien die Quelle der Nachrichten. Die Leute würden zugreifen, wenn die Angebote gut gemacht seien, egal ob auf einem BlackBerry, einem Kindle oder einem PC. [...]

[...] Reuters’ selection of quotes here [...]