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Thread: Does Anyone See a Problem With This?......

  1. #1
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    Does Anyone See a Problem With This?......

    [B][SIZE="4"]Murdoch Moving to Buy Newsday for $580 Million [/SIZE][/B]

    [url]http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/business/media/23paper.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print[/url]
    By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA and TIM ARANGO

    [B]Rupert Murdoch is moving to tighten his already-imposing grip on American news media, [/B][B]striking a tentative deal to buy his third New York-based paper, Newsday, [/B]and getting his first chance to appoint the top editor of The Wall Street Journal, after the resignation of the editor on Tuesday.

    His $580 million bid for Newsday and his urgency in remaking The Journal worry his competitors and cause angst in many newsrooms, including his own. And both moves are vintage Rupert Murdoch, a man who operates his sprawling News Corporation like an old-style media mogul, making big bets on old and new media — bankrolling the new Fox Business Network, aggressively pursuing a deal for Yahoo, and buying Dow Jones & Company, publisher of The Journal, for far more than analysts thought it was worth. And that was just in the last year.

    His first love, however, remains newspapers. The purchase of Newsday from the Tribune Company would put Mr. Murdoch in control of 3 of the nation’s 10 largest-circulation papers (the others being The Journal and The New York Post). Owning Newsday, which is based on Long Island, would also open an eastern front in the long-running battle for New York tabloid supremacy and, by combining some operations, could allow News Corporation to end decades of heavy losses by The Post.

    But the agreement is far from final as competing bidders consider their positions. Mortimer B. Zuckerman, owner of The Daily News, the archrival of The Post, will make a counteroffer next week, according to people involved in the bidding who would not be identified because of the confidentiality of the talks. Representatives of another bidder, the Observer Media Group, publisher of The New York Observer, plan to meet in a few days with Cablevision — which had dropped out of the bidding — to discuss a joint offer.

    People in both the News and Observer camps say they were shocked to learn of the handshake deal with Mr. Murdoch, first reported by The Chicago Tribune and The Journal, because they had been assured by Tribune’s bankers that they had until next week to submit offers. In addition, a takeover of Newsday by News Corporation, which also owns two New York City television stations, could face trouble with regulators.

    Like other newspaper companies, Tribune has suffered heavy losses in advertising revenue and faces nearly $1 billion a year in debt service costs, forcing it to make plans to sell the Chicago Cubs and assets like Newsday. The company took on most of its debt load last year when it went private in a deal that put Samuel Zell, who made billions in real estate, in control.

    News Corporation and Tribune Company declined to comment on any of the moves.

    The resignation of Marcus W. Brauchli from The Journal was less shocking, if only because Mr. Brauchli was appointed by the previous owners of the paper. Since he bought Dow Jones in December for $5.2 billion, Mr. Murdoch has moved swiftly to remake the stately paper, [B]calling for shorter articles[/B][B] and more coverage of politics, culture and even sports — and fewer business articles on the front page.[/B]

    Mr. Brauchli’s colleagues and friends say he championed some of the changes and acted as a brake on others. But they say it was increasingly clear that much of the direction was being set by Mr. Murdoch and the publisher he installed, Robert J. Thomson, who oversees news operations and has none of the usual business duties of a publisher. Editors and reporters say Mr. Brauchli’s authority was being undercut, a message reinforced by plans to give Mr. Thomson an office in The Journal’s main newsroom.

    [B]There was particular tension lately over calls by the News Corporation team to thin the ranks of The Journal’s editors, and to put short articles on the front page or the fronts of sections that would not continue on inside pages.[/B]

    Events leading to Mr. Brauchli’s departure appear to have begun a few weeks ago, according to other editors and reporters, around the time he went to China. They said that Mr. Thomson and others indicated they were unhappy with the pace of change.

    At some point, “They told him, ‘We don’t think this is working,’ ” one of them said, and Mr. Brauchli replied that in that case, he should consider leaving.

    Even so, the news caught most people at The Journal off guard when it broke Monday night on Time magazine’s Web site, as Mr. Brauchli and Mr. Murdoch were in Washington at a dinner of the Atlantic Council of the United States. Several current and former top editors of The Journal were there, too, and learned of the resignation when their BlackBerrys began buzzing.

    The news cast a pall over the newsroom, where Mr. Brauchli is liked and respected, and his exit reinforces fears that The Journal is retreating from its focus on business and sophisticated, in-depth reporting.

    “Even those of us who saw this coming were surprised it came so fast, and the people who didn’t see it coming are totally floored,” a reporter said. “Marcus kept pushing back, saying he would protect the culture, and now that he’s gone, what’s going to happen?”

    In a message he sent to his staff on Tuesday, Mr. Brauchli wrote, “Now that the ownership transition has taken place, I have come to believe the new owners should have a managing editor of their choosing.” Dow Jones said that the resignation was effective immediately, and that Mr. Brauchli would become a consultant to News Corporation.

    To quell major shareholders during the negotiations for Dow Jones last year, Mr. Murdoch agreed to restrictions on his ability to fire the managing editor, who would have complete control of the news operation, and an oversight committee was formed to police the agreement.

    Mr. Murdoch called each of the five committee members on Monday to tell them of Mr. Brauchli’s impending departure, according to people at News Corporation. The committee met by conference call on Tuesday for 90 minutes, and at the outset Mr. Brauchli joined the call and stressed that the resignation was his own decision and was not a reaction to editorial interference.

    The committee members, who are paid $100,000 a year, are Susan M. Phillips, the dean of the business school at George Washington University; Thomas Bray, former editorial page editor of The Detroit News; Louis Boccardi, former chief executive of The Associated Press; Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the nonprofit association One Laptop Per Child; and Jack Fuller, a former president of the Tribune Publishing Company.

    Despite the attention on The Journal, Mr. Murdoch already has his sights set on the next conquest. News Corporation officials stressed he is vying for Newsday to support The Post, which loses about $50 million a year.

    Each bidder could save millions of dollars a year on back-office operations through a merger with Newsday. And people familiar with all three bidders’ plans say part of the appeal is the ability to merge some or all of their printing operations.

    Ad buyers said they were not sure how a union of Newsday and The Post would affect them.

    Roberta Garfinkle, senior vice president and director for print strategy at TargetCast TCM in New York, was skeptical about joint sales attracting advertisers to The Post. “I either want to buy The Post or I don’t,” she said. “Selling it in combination with Newsday is not going to change my mind.” Tom Stolfi, corporate media director at KSL Media, said he feared that so much concentration of available ad space could lead to higher prices. “Advertisers that want to dominate Nassau and Suffolk absolutely need Newsday,” he said, referring to the Long Island counties.

    Newsday, a tabloid with weekday circulation of 387,000, is the sole newspaper based in its market. Despite falling revenue, it generates a healthy profit, with earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) last year of $80 million on $500 million in revenue, according to people briefed on its finances.

    But the paper’s prominence has faded since the days when its Long Island circulation topped 500,000 and it published a popular New York City edition. Since its former parent company, Times Mirror, was bought by Tribune in 2000, the paper has registered sharp losses in circulation, deep staff cuts and a scandal over falsified circulation figures.

    “We’d appreciate anybody coming in here that has a newspaper background, that knows New York, whether it’s Zuckerman or Murdoch or anybody, to put this paper back on track,” said Dennis Grabhorn, president of Local 406 of the Graphic Communications Conference, the union that represents more than half of Newsday’s employees.
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 04-23-2008 at 08:05 AM.

  2. #2
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    I see a problem with almost ALL of our media today. Frankly, I'd love to see a Law passed that gives the media additional rights.......but mandates that our "Free Press" be non-profit.

    Then you can either be part of the "Free Press" or part of the "Entertainment Industry". Those two items, in my view, are not compatable in today's world.

  3. #3
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    [QUOTE=Warfish;2496519]I see a problem with almost ALL of our media today. Frankly, I'd love to see a Law passed that gives the media additional rights.......but mandates that our "Free Press" be non-profit.

    Then you can either be part of the "Free Press" or part of the "Entertainment Industry". Those two items, in my view, are not compatable in today's world.[/QUOTE]

    We are in agreement on the media being a joke.

    But if our "free press" becomes non-profit who would run it?

  4. #4
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    I always thought the papers and televised news were there to report news. It seems to me today that they slant the news to their political taste. BTW did you see K. Oberman last night did he have a blue tint in his hair?

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;2496529]We are in agreement on the media being a joke.
    [B]
    But if our "free press" becomes non-profit who would run it?[/B][/QUOTE]
    teh internets

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=CTM;2496576]teh internets[/QUOTE]

    Then the press would still not be [B]non-profit.[/B] And, God knows, we don't want the other alternative of the state running the press..................
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 04-23-2008 at 09:18 AM.

  7. #7
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    One of the reasons the MSM was slanted against Edwards was that he wanted to look into prohibiting too much cross ownership of media.

    Murdoch is perhaps the poster child for what is wrong with the MSM, but he's only part of the problem.

  8. #8
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    Newsday has a well known liberal bias. They also are "on the take" from certain local institutions to provide positive news and rip the competition. They also have it out for local volunteer fire departments.
    Hopefully Murdoch can come in and clean house, making for a more moderate and fair editorial board.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio;2496675]Newsday has a well known liberal bias. They also are "on the take" from certain local institutions to provide positive news and rip the competition. They also have it out for local volunteer fire departments.
    Hopefully Murdoch can come in and clean house, making for a more moderate and fair editorial board.[/QUOTE]

    Yeah, a free unfettered press and diversity of opinion count for little when your side gets a chance to take out an annoying source of news you don't like hearing just by buying it.

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio;2496675]Newsday has a well known liberal bias. They also are "on the take" from certain local institutions to provide positive news and rip the competition. They also have it out for local volunteer fire departments.
    Hopefully Murdoch can come in and clean house, [B]making for a more moderate and fair editorial board[/B].[/QUOTE]

    Because that has been his reputation...right. :zzz::zzz::zzz:

    Why can't you see that the entire media is broken, not just the portions that you disagree with?

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE]Newsday, a tabloid with weekday circulation of 387,000, is the sole newspaper based in its market. Despite falling revenue, it generates a healthy profit, with earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) last year of $80 million on $500 million in revenue, according to people briefed on its finances.

    But the paper’s prominence has faded since the days when its Long Island circulation topped 500,000 and it published a popular New York City edition. Since its former parent company, Times Mirror, was bought by Tribune in 2000, the paper has registered sharp losses in circulation, deep staff cuts and a scandal over falsified circulation figures.[/QUOTE]

    Let Murdoch buy it, it's a piece of crap rag anyway.

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=Big Blocker;2496724]Yeah, a free unfettered press and diversity of opinion count for little when your side gets a chance to take out an annoying source of news you don't like hearing just by buying it.[/QUOTE]

    Free market, my friend, free market. Let George Soros put a bid in.

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio;2496752]Free market, my friend, free market. Let George Soros put a bid in.[/QUOTE]

    It sure is not operating the way Adam Smith drew it up.

  14. #14
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    before the fcc sold out to the rich people that run our country, this issue would have been addressed. There is a dangerous threat to our democracy when one powerful entity buys up a large percentage of an areas' media. Our media is already a joke and this is one of the main examples.

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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;2496789]before the fcc sold out to the rich people that run our country, this issue would have been addressed. There is a dangerous threat to our democracy when one powerful entity buys up a large percentage of an areas' media. Our media is already a joke and this is one of the main examples.[/QUOTE]

    No doubt about it.

    This is one of the main reasons democracy is at risk here.

  16. #16
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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;2496789]before the fcc sold out to the rich people that run our country, this issue would have been addressed. There is a dangerous threat to our democracy when one powerful entity buys up a large percentage of an areas' media. Our media is already a joke and this is one of the main examples.[/QUOTE]

    Feel free to start a liberal radio network- wait, someone did and it went bankrupt!
    Please, stop crying that all points of view are not expressed in the New York media. That contention is laughable, even if Murdoch buys Newsday.

  17. #17
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    [QUOTE=HDCentStOhio;2496798]Feel free to start a liberal radio network- wait, someone did and it went bankrupt!
    Please, stop crying that all points of view are not expressed in the New York media. That contention is laughable, even if Murdoch buys Newsday.[/QUOTE]

    keep swinging and missing..............

    Hard as this may be for you to grasp, this is not a partisan issue. This type of monopoly is harmful to democracy, period. Murdoch is savvy and an excellent business man but what he is doing will have long term effects. Please take off your partisan glasses for ten seconds. It was no better when they approved the Time Warner merger.
    Last edited by intelligentjetsfan; 04-23-2008 at 10:42 AM.

  18. #18
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    [QUOTE=intelligentjetsfan;2496816]keep swinging and missing..............

    Hard as this may be for you to grasp, this is not a partisan issue. This type of monopoly is harmful to democracy, period. Murdoch is savvy and an excellent business man but what he is doing will have long term effects. Please take off your partisan glasses for ten seconds. It was no better when they approved the Time Warner merger.[/QUOTE]

    What I find amusing is the deference to authority, as if one should be comfortable that media owned by Murdoch will somehow always be okay with the poster in question.

    It might even reflect a "Murdoch knows best!" viewpoint.

    I find that... unsettling.

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=Big Blocker;2496976]What I find amusing is the deference to authority, as if one should be comfortable that media owned by Murdoch will somehow always be okay with the poster in question.

    It might even reflect a "Murdoch knows best!" viewpoint.

    I find that... unsettling.[/QUOTE]

    "Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both".
    Benjamin Franklin

    People like HD see this as a partisan issue and they are all too willing to lose a little bit more of our democracy in the name of political idealogy.

  20. #20
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    I don't think Warfish's "free non-profit press" would work because the established powers would still find a way to reward people, but I do agree that the entire news media is a cancerous problem to this country.

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