Hizzoner Roasts Murdoch
Last night, The Wall Street Journal held a party at Gotham Hall for a slew of media, advertisers, bigwigs (Barry Diller, the cast of In the Heights!) to introduce Greater New York, a souped up metro section that debuted on Monday. Perhaps you have heard of it.
Usually at events like these, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is roped into saying some words about how great the Big Apple is followed by a note of thanks for creating new jobs for the city. Last night was no exception.
What made Bloomberg’s speech – really a roast of News Corp Chief Rupert Murdoch – kind of cringe-worthy was the fact that Bloomberg News is a huge competitor of Dow Jones. It’s not entirely clear if Bloomberg was joking when he said that his company had considered purchasing Dow Jones before he held up a mock-up of the Greater New York edition showing the audience how Bloomberg would have gone about things.
Also awkward: apparently Bloomberg isn’t thrilled about another outlet covering his administration. He quipped: “In the media capital of the world the more competition we have, I think the better. Of course that also means we will have a Journal reporter at my press conference every day from now on asking another ridiculous question. Hey, there’s always room for one more.”
To make things even weirder, meanwhile, Bloomberg BusinessWeek reported from the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills on Monday that Viacom Chief Sumner Redstone took potshots at Murdoch, predicting that newspapers will be out of business in two years. And then he said this about Murdoch: “He lives in ink, and I live in movies and television. Ink is going to go away, and movies and television will be here forever, like me.”
We approached Murdoch last night and asked him how long it will take before the Greater New York edition will be profitable. “It’s already profitable!” he said before the crowd swallowed him up.
So, there you have it.