Wolff opines on Murdoch… again

Can you tell it’s book-flacking time?

Vanity Fair is running the second excerpt from the forthcoming book that Michael Wolff wrote about News Corp chief Rupert Murdoch (this one centers on his family), and Wolff is making the rounds this week to talk about it. He was on CNBC moments ago, engaging in everyone’s favorite media parlor game: Parsing Murdoch’s every move like a multi-clause sentence. Friday’s appearance follows a panel discussion at a conference earlier this week where he made similar remarks. Here’s what he said on CNBC.

What will Murdoch do after buying The Wall Street Journal? What’s his next move?

“I’m not sure that he exactly knows. One of the problems here is that he bought a newspaper and not only did he buy a newspaper, but if he had only waited six months to buy that newspaper he would have saved a billion and a half dollars.” (Nothing like hindsight, is there?)

What will he buy? What will he sell?

“I don’t think that he’ll do either in the short term. I think in the short term they’ll try to manage their businesses the best way they know how.”

Does Rupert care that his stock is down?

“Does he care? No! Do the people around him care? The people holding stock options? Well, let me put it this way. Having spent a lot of time around that building, I have heard people at the highest echelons of that company complaining deeply about the price of News Corp shares.”

Fox Biz throws CNBC’s Cramer under bus

If you didn’t know better, you’d think CNBC was running for office and Fox Business was the down-in-the-polls attack dog. 

That’s the feeling you get watching Fox Business’s latest TV ad, which throws CNBC star and stock picker Jim Cramer under the bus and urges viewers to, you know, kick CNBC to the curb. YouTube Preview Image

Truth is, Fox sort of IS behind in the “polls” — its rating are still a fraction of CNBC’s, even though the global financial crisis has been on the front page for weeks. The New York Times, citing Neilsen data, says viewership exploded to 81,000, on average one day earlier this month. Fox Business had never previously drawn an audience large enough to be “statistically reliable” by Nielsen.

Fox Business claims weekend OT

Ask any business reporter covering the financial crisis what they were doing this weekend — the answer is probably not “mowing the lawn” or “doing things that don’t involve work.”

The folks over at Fox Business Network is playing that to their advantage. A new ad, first reported by TVNewser (we think), points out that FBN was broadcasting live news this weekend while brand X, the much larger and older rival network CNBC, was mainly running taped broadcasting.

That said, CNBC was live on Sunday night with a two-hour special, but FBN is taking credit for running live coverage on Sunday morning, reporting that crucial progress had been made in Washington on the $700 billion bailout plan. At the time, spokeswoman Irena Briganti said, CNBC was airing a re-run of Suze Orman. Briganti said FBN also was running live for several hours on Saturday and Sunday while CNBC was not.

Yahoo! Yahoo gets a makeover

yahoo1.jpg Yahoo is about to make a radical change to its home page — mostly trying to make it a more personal experience. It begins testing the page, on a small basis, today, Reuters reports.

For any of you out there who get a chance to play around with it, let us know what you think.

For the moment, here’s what were looking at…

The new home page relies on slick personalization technology that allows users who have signed into their Yahoo account to see when new information arrives not just on Yahoo sites, like e-mail or news, but off-Yahoo on sites such as eBay Inc’s auctions or Google Inc’s Gmail service.

A rolling stone gathers no Mossberg

It looks like CNBC will have to figure out another way to bring in the viewers when the Apple 3G iPhone comes out. The old tried-and-true method, bringing on Wall Street Journal personal technology columnist Walt Mossberg, isn’t going to work anymore.

We got a press release, but will defer to Silicon Alley Insider, which looks like it had the news first — Walt is going to the Fox Business Network instead:

Mossberg is scheduled to appear weekly on Fox Business Network, meaning he will no longer be doing his “Personal Technology” segments on CNBC. Mossberg’s last appearance on CNBC was last week, sources said. He’ll start on FBN on Wednesday with an 11 a.m segment with morning co-anchors Dagen McDowell and Brian Sullivan. His regular weekly spot will be Thursdays at 11 a.m.