News Corp. Now Has the World's Worst Company Profile

By Carol Kopp  DEC 04, 2012 2:10 PM

You want this in Aussie lingo, Mr. Murdoch? This plan is ugly as a box of blowflies.


What corporate CEO in his or her right mind would start a newspaper company in 2012?
The kind who would write this, in a memo to his staff: “Many of you know that a belief in the power of the written word has been in my bones for my entire life. It began as I listened to my father’s stories from his days as a war correspondent and, later, a successful publisher.”
And glorious days they were, back when World War I was known as The Great War because it wasn’t supposed to have a sequel. Mr. Murdoch, founder, chairman, and CEO of News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) is now 81 years old, and he just created a newspaper company.
Actually, he recreated what began as a newspaper company, splitting his entertainment and news company into an entertainment empire, to be called Fox Group, and a Balkan backwater which will retain the News Corp. name.
To be sure, this was not Murdoch’s idea. His shareholders have been pressuring him to do this for a long time, because the incredible shrinking news business, which he adores, has been dragging down the real business of entertainment, which makes money. News Corp. stock has climbed 38% this year, but presumably it can do better without the “news” in it.
So, the new Fox Group gets all the good entertainment stuff: 
The new News Corp. gets all the trouble, including:
But, of course, every newspaper group has an Internet strategy. So how’s that going for News Corp.? For starters, the announcement of the company split included the news that The Daily, the company’s expensive and high-profile venture into Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) app publishing, is dead.
The rest of Murdoch’s Internet strategy seems to consist of slapping up pay walls and making sure that none of his stuff shows up in a Google search, because that would be stealing.
To top it off, Murdoch reportedly is rumored to be considering adding The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune, two more great newspapers that are most definitely on the skids.
The only potentially bright spots are the Wall Street Journal and the Dow Jones News services, which were deeply embedded in the Internet long before Murdoch noticed its existence. The newspaper was the first, and is still one of the few, to make money off Internet subscriptions.
The announcement arrives with the usual accompaniment of musical chairs, although Murdoch remains in charge of both companies, as chief executive of Fox Group and chairman of News Corp.
No positions in stocks mentioned.

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