The study looked at front-page coverage of the Journal and by way of comparison, the New York Times from In the past three and a half years, front-page coverage of business is down about one-third from what it had been in , the last year of the old ownership regime. And some categories of news, such as coverage of government, foreign news involving the U.
Yet attention to other subject areas has fallen. Front-page coverage of health and medicine has been de-emphasized the past few years. Education issues have virtually disappeared from the front pages as has—ironically enough, given the current state of affairs—attention to the media industry. When Murdoch bought the Journal, he also made clear his desire to reshape the paper to more directly challenge the New York Times, even reportedly sending Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. But their front pages are still not the same in topic agenda.
At the same time, front-page coverage of the U. In a Pew Research poll, a majority of self-described conservatives said it was the only news network they trusted.
Fifty years and an untold number of deals after taking possession of The News of Adelaide, Murdoch had arrived at the pinnacle of global influence. But as he turned 75, and then 80, Murdoch, too, had declined to lay out a plan for the future of his empire.
Initially he favored Lachlan, installing him as the general manager of one of his Australian newspaper chains at age 22 and overseeing his rise to the post of deputy chief operating officer of News Corp by age James, then the chief executive of British Sky Broadcasting — formerly Sky Television, later shortened to Sky — took over the mantle of heir apparent.
But by the summer of , Murdoch, now 84, had changed his mind: James was out, and Lachlan was once again next in line. James would report to him. James was livid. The two brothers and their father had explicitly discussed succession not even two years earlier. James was supposed to take over, and Lachlan would never assume more than a symbolic role. As James saw it, he had not only been promised the job; he had earned it.
Angry and appalled, James threatened to quit, heading straight from lunch to the airport for a flight to Indonesia.
Years ago, he was the family rebel, piercing his ears, dyeing his hair and having a light bulb tattooed on his right arm. As an undergraduate at Harvard, James flirted with becoming a medieval historian and joined the staff of The Harvard Lampoon before dropping out in to follow the Grateful Dead and start an independent hip-hop label, Rawkus Records, whose artists included Talib Kweli and Mos Def. A year later, his father bought Rawkus and brought James into News Corp, ending his short-lived foray outside the family business. The constant sparring grew tiresome for Murdoch, who worried that Kathryn had too much influence over his younger son.
He would often suggest to James that the two of them just go out to dinner alone when they needed to discuss something, according to a person close to Murdoch. A self-described political centrist, James saw the network as one of the biggest obstacles to his efforts to diversify and expand the company. Lachlan identified closely with that charismatic founder.
In , Mr. Under the editorship of Barnes and his successor in , John Thadeus Delane , the influence of The Times rose to great heights, especially in politics and amongst the City of London. Of course, he had been gravely misled. At the time of Harold Evans' appointment as editor in , The Times had an average daily sale of , copies in comparison to the 1. But he now believed that this tough coverage was part of a concerted campaign. Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States —89 , noted for his conservative Republicanism,….
His father stuck to clay pigeons. Lachlan said through a representative that he had no recollection of the incident and that he supports same-sex marriage. According to people close to him, Lachlan questions what he sees as the exorbitant cost of addressing climate change and believes that the debate over global warming is getting too much attention. Lachlan viewed his brother as a good executive, but he felt that he was the one who had taken risks and proved himself in Australia.
Murdoch had been trying for years to coax Lachlan back from Australia. He and James had tried to talk their father out of marrying Wendi over a dinner at the Manhattan restaurant Babbo — she was the rare subject on which the two sons agreed — and both of them had grown even less fond of her in the years that followed. James and at least one other company executive had heard from senior foreign officials that they believed she was a Chinese intelligence asset.
Apart from Wendi, the sons were at odds about almost everything. Murdoch bought the house furnished in the s from the music mogul Jules Stein, and his sons had a sentimental attachment to it, having spent a lot of time there as children. The brothers briefly discussed buying the house together; whoever happened to be in L. Lachlan was upset that his brother had gotten the house. As a gift, Murdoch gave him some of the antique furniture inside, even though James and Kathryn thought they had bought it furnished. James would be chief executive, while Lachlan would share the more exalted title of co-chairman with his father.
The announcement would be carefully worded to suggest that they were coequals, to protect James from the public humiliation, even though Lachlan was technically the senior executive. Each would have access to corporate planes for professional and personal use. James warily agreed to the terms, but the question of succession was not fully resolved.
The news coverage of their promotions made no distinction between the seniority of their respective positions: Publicly at least, James was still seen as the heir apparent. In early , Murdoch got a call from Ivanka Trump, proposing lunch with her and her father. They met soon after in the corporate dining room of the Fox News building in Midtown Manhattan.
Just as the first course was being served, Trump told Murdoch that he was going to run for president.
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Murdoch was deeply entwined with the Trump family. She relinquished her role as a trustee in Roger Ailes, the longtime head of Fox News, was no more generous, at least when Trump was out of earshot. Ailes had even written Trump an email asking what he could do to help him. After scrawling an enthusiastic note on top, Trump sent a printout of that email to his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. Baier dropped his membership when it became clear that Trump was likely to run for the presidency.
The Murdoch formula was to deliver the enthusiasm of reactionary readers and viewers to chosen candidates, but Trump was already generating plenty of enthusiasm on his own. If these supporters had to choose between Trump and Fox, Ailes might not like the results. At the same time, a new crop of right-wing outlets — Breitbart, Gateway Pundit, One America News, Sinclair — were embracing his candidacy, and mainstream broadcasters were no less aware of what he could do for their ratings. Six months later, on the eve of another Republican debate in Des Moines, which Trump was boycotting because Kelly was once again moderating, Ailes tried desperately to persuade Trump to change his mind.
His hopes were dashed when Trump called him from the tarmac in Iowa to refuse, having just watched the Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer mock him on the network. Even as Trump gained momentum, Murdoch continued to look for alternatives. Having worked for the Clinton Climate Initiative, she knew both the Clintons and their inner circle of advisers and hoped Murdoch might consider an endorsement, or at least commit to staying neutral.
The idea was not so far-fetched. Murdoch had, after all, backed Tony Blair, a Clinton-style Labor Party centrist, and had once even hosted a Senate fund-raiser for Hillary. In fact, he called Clinton personally, leaving a message at her campaign headquarters. Clinton called back almost immediately but declined his invitation to meet with him. A spokesman for Clinton did not respond to a request for comment.
During the primaries, Trump honed his political identity, railing against military intervention, free trade and immigration. As the Republican nominating process progressed, this populist, anti-establishment energy was unmistakably coalescing around Trump. By March , Donald Trump, the man Murdoch had so quickly dismissed a year earlier, was now the clear front-runner, and Murdoch was taking his first tentative steps toward embracing him.
Across the Atlantic, a similar right-wing wave was threatening to drive Britain out of the European Union. Murdoch had a hand in that as well. His most influential tabloid, The Sun, had long been advocating for an exit from the E. Murdoch denied this, too. As the summer of approached, that referendum was finally coming. But in , Brexit proponents could scan the globe and see cause for optimism. In the weeks leading up to the vote, The Sun led the London tabloids in hammering the case for leaving the European Union.
How much influence he still wielded in British politics was an open question. Murdoch had effectively been chased out of London five years earlier in the wake of the biggest crisis of his career: the revelations that his News of the World tabloid had, in search of dirt, been systematically hacking into the phones of politicians, celebrities, royals and even a year-old schoolgirl.
The scandal that followed , itself fit for tabloid headlines, would permanently alter the course of both the family and its empire. Robert Thomson is changing the culture brilliantly. I get nothing but compliments about the paper. Yelland: I see that Breaking Views the online financial commentary service has gone from the Journal , that you have expanded the Heard on the Street column, stuck it on the back page and given it some design impact.
Is that the fulcrum of the battle between the Journal and the FT? It has a very British, European attitude. We are a total free market paper. Philosophically we are very different. And we are infinitely bigger. We have a circulation of between 1. Is the whole deal a play against the New York Times? Is that what this is all about? A lot of the big papers in this country have grown very pretentious — monopoly papers like the Chicago Tribune , the Los Angeles Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
For economic reasons they are now cutting out foreign bureaus and becoming much more local. They are going to feel they need us or the New York Times. They want something more. The New York Times has a lot of good parts to it but its editorial agenda is all over the front page and right through the paper. We have a great opportunity. Murdoch: No! It will turn out okay. The other half serves the financial industry around the world and is going fine. It is making great progress. But its market is more difficult. Murdoch: Well, look at Mr Obama.
He has been very strong, very pragmatic. He is faintly left of centre. He is stronger in every aspect than Bill Clinton. I would say Hillary will be much stronger as secretary of state than Bill Clinton ever was. Bill Clinton loves to talk but he allowed the Islamic threat to grow. But make no mistake, Obama is going to be the boss. Look at who he has chosen. I thought that was the Journal having a little bit of amusing leg pulling.
It was just a little bit of well-intentioned mischief making. We have asked about the attorney general. I think he is a man of great principle and I like his Calvinist approach to work. On the other hand you look at David Cameron 6.
But what does he really feel in his stomach? Is he going to be a new Thatcher, which is what the country needs? The UK desperately needs less government and freer markets. It is terrifying. Murdoch: New York State is, yes. The new governor is trying to do something but he is blocked by the state assembly. The biggest crisis here in New York is education. We have to do much more. Murdoch: Nobody. We have a lot of respect for a number of people. I think all the other major US television networks are doing a good job. We are all struggling with lower audiences as viewing is fragmented.
We take risks but our people there are very tough on costs and deals. Let someone else make it. Murdoch: Next year we are going to give Les a party for his 50th anniversary. We transferred the esprit de corps from Australia to the UK and then built it here. What do you say?
Murdoch: BSkyB was pure vision. The Sun was pure vision. They said it was ridiculous at the time. But then they said only the Daily Mirror could sell like that. But we beat it.
Many people said we had overpaid at the time but we were right, dead right. We sensed that one of the owners of the NFL rights, one of the networks — CBS — was getting very tight about how they were going to bid for it next time. That deal absolutely made the Fox Network. No one had ever heard of them, nobody ever went to them. But when the Dallas Cowboys were playing, the public had to watch them and they found the channels and that was the breakthrough.
It always seemed to me that sport was the power behind the expansion of broadcast here.
You learn from newspapers that sport sells. It is the sport in the papers that makes people buy them.