Good things come in threes for Murdoch

murdochfist1.jpgNews Corp’s Rupert Murdoch dominated headlines again on Tuesday as not one, but at least three news items rippled across the media world.

As shareholders of rival paper The New York Times assemble on Tuesday morning for its annual meeting held at the company’s glittering new headquarters near Times Square, Murdoch took steps to accelerate the remaking of the Wall Street Journal in his image. WSJ is set to announce today the resignation of its managing editor Marcus Brauchli, who is leaving 11 months into the job and just a few months following the closing of Murdoch’s $5 billion purchase of Dow Jones. Murdoch appointee and publisher Robert Thomson will take over the top editorial spot in the interim, according to news reports. 

Meanwhile, News Corp deal makers across town appear poised to reach a deal to relieve real estate magnate and Tribune Chief Sam Zell of his Newsday newspaper for about $580 million to create a joint venture to combine Murdoch’s New York Post and other assets with Tribune’s paper. The Newsday deal is expected to cut about $50 million in annual losses at the Post. 

Then, quietly, Murdoch left the door open to a possible joint bid with Microsoft to buy Yahoo during a question and answer session at an event in which he was honored. Brauchli, the New York Times reported, attended the same event in Washington DC.

( (WSJ) (NYT) (Reuters)

Keep an eye on:

    Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman may be conspiring to eliminate CBS Chief Les Moonves. (New York Post ) Bambi’s getting company. Disney launches a new nature film label, Disneynature. (Reuters) MySpace snubs Fox for NBC News in new political site. (Hollywood Reporter)

(Photo: Reuters)

Keeping the ‘Wall Street’ in WSJ

dow-jones.jpgSome Wall Street Journal staff have been grousing lately over the paper’s increasing devotion to political and general news because they worry that it will move business news off the front page — something that seems inimical to a paper with the name “Wall Street” in it.

Not to worry, says Dow Jones & Co Chief Executive Les Hinton, business news is still what the Journal is all about. Here’s what Hinton said in an interview in the March 27 edition of The Australian (also owned by Murdoch’s News Corp):

“Whatever happens to the design, the key thing is we will put more national news in it and more political news in it,” he said.

Malone, Diller and the story that ended the affair

maffei-sun-valley.jpgMedia titans John Malone and Barry Diller knew they had their fair share of disagreements over the years, but like many couples heading to divorce, they apparently needed someone else to tell them that.

Enter Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Vascellaro.

The media industry read with rapt interest her story in October that put in plain language how much tension had built up between the two over their partnership in IAC/InterActiveCorp. 

But as the two moguls duke it out in Delaware court this week, they keep invoking that story, day after day, as the moment that sent their relationship past the point of no return.