Top Rupert Murdoch adviser learns meaning of ‘deadline’
It must have hit New York Times reporter Tim Arango’s e-mail inbox first (his writeup appeared about five minutes before I got the press release).
Here is what he wrote about Ginsberg, 47, the second senior executive to leave News Corp in recent months, following Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin:
Mr. Ginsberg, a former lawyer in the Clinton White House, was hired in 1999 to be News Corporation’s director of communications. He was hired partly to refurbish the company’s image after a controversy in which Mr. Murdoch was said to have stopped publication of a book by Chris Patten, the former governor of Hong Kong, to curry favor with the Chinese government. Mr. Ginsberg’s portfolio within News Corporation expanded well beyond public relations. He gradually gained control over investor relations, marketing and corporate social responsibility. He also became an important bridge between Mr. Murdoch and Democratic politicians, particularly Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Ginsberg, Arango said, arranged a lunch between Bill Clinton and Murdoch in Harlem, and a year later with a New York Post newsroom tour. Eventually, the Post endorsed Hillary Clinton for the U.S. Senate in 2006 and Murdoch threw her a fundraiser at News Corp’s headquarters. (Yes, that is quite a feat to arrange for a newspaper that under Murdoch has leaned Republican more often than not.)
It’s also a feat to get a well-known Democrat to say what he said in the press release:
I will always be grateful to Rupert for the many opportunities he’s given me over the years… It was a difficult decision to leave a company that has been such a vital part of my life and I’ll miss the many talented colleagues who have helped make this such a thrilling and fascinating ride. But I’ve been thinking about leaving for a while now to pursue something new, and this seemed like the right time to do it.
Teri Everett, who spends plenty of time dealing with the horde of reporters who cover News Corp’s every move, will take over as the new communications chief. Reed Nolte will run investor relations.