What would News Corp. be without, well, news? Perhaps better off, at least in the bottom-line sense, suggests Jeff Jarvis:
You might say that Rupert [Murdoch] would have his newspapers pried from his dead hands and that might well be the case. But know well that he is not loyal to media. I used to work for TV Guide. He loved magazines then. Things turned sour. He got rid of them. He worked his ass off to get satellite TV in the US. When he had it, it turned out to be inconvenient; he got rid of it. When he had a choice of owning TV stations or newspapers in Boston and Chicago, there went the papers.
So I could see stockholders and managers and heirs pressure Murdoch to get rid of his news properties.
Only problem is, who’d want them?
Which suggests that commenter Dan Farfan may be right on target:
Any major player in a last century industry could pioneer the game-changing future that leaves competitors scrambling (and competitors’ investors fleeing) with some philosophy help from outside, but it is rare. Rarer still is closing a 168 year old business.
By which he means the weekly News of the World, which published its last issue Sunday.
I get the distinct impression — reinforced by this Guardian piece — that the heirs to the family fortune have neither the tenacity nor the business acumen of Rupert Murdoch himself, and I’m guessing they’d be, if not necessarily happy, perhaps relieved to get out of the news game altogether.
Then again, the Simpsons might have anticipated this:
Lisa: Wow, dad, you’re surfing like a pro.
Homer: Oh, yeah. I’m betting on jai alai in the Cayman Islands, I invested in something called News Corp…
Lisa: Dad, that’s Fox!
Homer: Augh! Undo! Undo!
Well, maybe they’ll keep The Wall Street Journal.