DougJ has already noted that the Murdoch empire fumbled the whole hacking scandal, but I thought it was worth noting that the recent fire sale of MySpace cost News Corp a hell of a lot more:
So all things considered, MySpace has cost Murdoch’s empire something like $1.3 billion. Even if my assumptions are way off, the final cost can’t be less than $1 billion.
News Corp bought MySpace for $580 million in 2006, ran it into the ground, and sold it for $35 million last month. Let’s see what the market has to say about that (click to embiggen):
For the past few years, News Corp has underperformed Disney, Viacom and the S&P 500. Don’t get me wrong — Rupert’s company is still profitable. It just isn’t making money for its investors.
my only argument to this is that MySpace is an unusable joke and I think many people you meet would argue that $35mil was probably more than the site is worth.
But I’m happy to think Murdoch lost money anyway.
mistermix @ top:
rUPERT mERDOCK IS A FINANCHAL JEENIUS, YOU COMMIE LIER! HE SHOULD BE pRESIDENT OF THE uNITED sTATES! AND rOGER aLES SHOULD BE HIS vICE! HE TELLS IT LIKE IT IS, YOU SOSHULIST FREAKS!
Evolved Deep Southerner
Truly one of the few trend lines that’s pleasant to think about. I keep hoping that this scandal will blow up into a company-toppling Enron-esque disaster. I don’t really expect that to happen, but a man can dream …
If Murdoch wanted to hit it big with an internet business he should have bought a porn site. Just because an internet business was one of the pioneers of The Next Big Thing doesn’t mean that it will be a winner. Compuserve? AOL?
What are you people talking about? I watch Fox News nonstop and I haven’t heard a word about this alleged scandal.
Evolved Deep Southerner:
I think the only way that happens in the US is if Roger Ailes is proven to have killed Casey Anthony’s baby. And not even then, unless he partied afterward.
Inneresting, since so much financial misbehavior is justified by the need to maximize share prices. But Murdoch is doing fine, thankyouverymuch.
sure it would be nice to see the evil empire topple but I’d settle for even small victories like people in the country of my birth, Australia, not desiring to name Murdoch the Most Influential Australian. You know, since he renounced his Australian citizenship in 1985. Queen Elizabeth revoking his Order of Australia appointment would be nice also, given the above reason as well as the damage he’s recently done to the Commonwealth.
The problem was that News Corp bought MySpace and thought they could run it like a news website — all content with IT in a support role. On the other hand, Google and Facebook plow tons of money into R&D, particularly with regards social networking. The traditional media companies just will not be able to compete with this unless they get their act together.
Heck, even Walmart has realized they need an R&D division for social networking — the appropriately named Walmart Labs. They were a sponsor at ACM SIGMOD this year.
Culture of Truth
Most Influential is a value neutral designation. Murdoch’s influences may be entirely evil and base, but I can’t think of any people of Australian birth or heritage who are currently more influential. I can think of a few Aussie writers and scientists who might be more influential in the long term, but none who are more influential right now.
@Culture of Truth:
Having sold the beast, it’s hard to see how Murdoch/News Corp. is going to recoup any more profit out of it.
Having sold the beast, it’s hard to see how they’re going to recoup any more profit out of it.
I understood the “so far” to refer to the cost of the hacking scandal, not the cost of the myspace deal.
Culture of Truth
I don’t think the losses due to the hacking scandal have been quite finalized.
Wait — is this important? I thought we were supposed to focus entirely on some new outrage by FDL or another blogger.
FOX News – We’re always listening
There’s nothing wrong with Rupert’s empire that negative tax rates for media conglomerates won’t fix. Expect the Republicans to introduce a bill to that effect within the next couple of weeks. “This is a jobs creation bill!”
@JGabriel: In essence I agree with you, but someone like myself, born there and having lived there for 3 years more recently or Rupert Murdoch (born in Melbourne but raised in England) probably would not be considered “Australian” for the purposes of say, a national election, even if Murdoch hadn’t renounced his citizenship.
By contrast, the current PM Julia Gillard was born in Wales but raised in Australia and has lived there most of her life. My observation of Australians, in general, is that they are far too eager to call successful people with even tenuous connections to their country fellow Australians no matter what skeletons might be in their closet — or, like in Murdoch’s case, if they chose to renounce their citizenship altogether.
He publicly decided to no longer be Australian. My question is why would any self-respecting Australian still want to claim him?
(You don’t have to tell me, I already know the answer is 27%)
I find it surprising that any of Murdoch’s assets make money. Right Wing drivel tends to be more of a vanity measure than a money making venture. Take, for instance, Richard Mellon Scaife and the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. Big money loser, but Scaife doesn’t care, he’ll spend 20million a year to push his ideology. Why wouldn’t he? He was born into money, he doesn’t have to work, he never has.
I gather that Murdoch’s true money makers are the tabloids, not his “serious” papers. And that makes sense; space aliens impregnating Kristie Alley makes a lot more sense than most right wing policies. It is easier to believe that Margaret Thatcher had a love child with Ronald Reagan than that you could balance the budget by giving Paris Hilton ANOTHER tax cut.
It’s getting amazingly ugly for Murdoch over in the UK with new rumors swirling via Michael Wolff that NewsCorp may be considering selling off News International and essentially gutting their UK print division entirely. It’s pretty clear there was criminal activity at NoW. What’s less clear is whose head is going to role for it. The guy Rupert put in charge of Dow Jones and the WSJ, Les Hinton, is now implicated up to his eyeballs (through emails released over the weekend), including lying to Parliament.If Hinton’s integrity is called into question, it could directly affect Murdoch’s US operation.
Murdoch may be in some more trouble if this is true:
I glanced at the Fox News site main page and there’s nothing on there right now about this ongoing, giant, international scandal.
Taxes are “holding up” the deficit deal, they’re marketing a WSJ op-ed that trumpets the Democrat’s plans to raise taxes by a trillion dollars, but there is nothing on the main page about the ongoing, giant, international criminal conspiracy that is Murdoch, Inc.
This is the sister station of ABC News, we’re talking about here. Weird omission.
Did you see the last crossword run in NotW?
Murdock is quite comfortable losing money while developing his version of far right wing world-wide media narrative.
Check out howe much he lost getting Fox off the ground.
@Dexter: “Smithers! Buy popcorn futures!”
Did they not ‘hack’ that fool Charlie’s cordless phone back in the day? The infamous ‘tampax’ incident?
The whole thing is surreal to me. Just wild. That horrible Brooks person hinting at some “dark day” to come (what on earth could she be talking about-how bad is this– it’s going to get WORSE than hacking the childs phone? ), daily revelations of criminality and lying constantly….and there’s Fox News, chugging right along, no mention on the main page. Oblivious.
Just crazy. It’s much, much worse than I thought, the disconnect between “news” and “reality”.
It is getting more interesting. Independent is reporting that Gordon Brown’s banking details have apparently been hacked by Sunday Times (another News International paper, although not a tabloid).
Fucen Pneumatic Fuck Wrench Tarmal
so how much does murdoch inc have to lose to start sliding backward irretrivably?
myspace, all tech and management issues aside, became too stupid for even its users. we can hope that the fox empire has a similar fate.
Interesting new update from the Guardian:
Ruh-roh. Shareholders are getting pissy.
DennisSGMM @ 4:
I think the money in BskyB and DirectTV IS in porn.
So he is doing what you suggest.
Now THIS could bring down Murdoch in the US, if true:
That would be US victims, not just Brits.
That said, this is still pretty much a rumor. And, additionally, the usual caveats regarding the British press, and the Daily Mirror in particular, apply.
And where were the fucking shareholders when News Corp was making the disastrous decisions that led up to the scandal? Oh, that’s right, they were keeping their traps shut. It’s just one more sign of the sociopathic nature of big corporations. The shareholders had no problems with the illegal and unethical behavior that led up to the scandal until it started to impact the holy profits.
The well-thinking Real American community’s had no trouble at all taking a shit on the people affected by 9/11… from the “moral majority” of the red states gloating on the night of the attack that God had punished them for harboring faggots and feminists, to Bill O’Reilly insulting those families who were tired of being used as a talking point for the invasion of Iraq, to the people who didn’t want to shell out the money to help 9/11 first responders with their health problems.
If 9/11 had happened in Mayberry and the victims had looked like the Andy Griffith cast, might be a different story, but as it is, NewsCorp can probably survive if they get Fox to go on the offensive against the faggy New Yorkers who just don’t understand that Murdoch’s people were trying to do a service for the public.
Pongo: yup, that’s the detail that’s going to get veddy veddy interesting. And of course, Roger Moore, the shareholders were completely AWOL earlier, but now Rupert ol’ boy is looking clueless and apparently pulling some variant of a King Lear or at least Shakespearean moment, clutching his flame-haired Goneril to his breast, shouting My Kingdom for a . . . !
But I agree with the blogger at the Guard, this was the killer bit of the thing in DE (my bolds).
Oh, and the additional nasty detail about the GB hacking is they went not once, but twice after the medical records of his kids: one that was dying as a baby, the only baby with a diagnosis of CF. Yeah, Rebekah, let’s hear more about your media crusade for children. Jesus. Lord what fools these mortals be.
What I mean to say is, the story in the US might have a lot more to do about money and basic corporate competence (and during a period where transition between generations is looming: James having to have Daddy fly over to the UK to attempt a clean-up is interesting) rather than scandal and news-mongering. Because I don’t quite see the James Murdoch / Rebekah Brooks / Andy Coulson legal defense of “We had now clue what our subordinates were doing, repeatedly and over a long period of time.” is going to prove a best-seller as the next theory of corporate management, no matter how much the big Rupe clutches his Goneril and points to her as his most immediate priority. My Employees Keep Hiding The Cheese From Me just isn’t quite working for me.
Now it’s come out that information about Gordon Brown’s children was acquired through probably illegal means.
Is computer and phone security completely incompetent in the UK, or did the NotW just get lucky and found some people who are very good at social engineering?
and don’t forget their less than fantastic ownership of the dodgers…they were so hot to sell that they loaned frank mccourt part of the money he used to buy the team
Watch the satellite deal, that’s serious money. And for a real long-odds bet that could just possibly be huge, watch for the break-up of the UK coalition government, as the Lib Dems back away nervously from Cameron’s involvement, thereby forcing a general election. I’m not saying it will happen, but it might, and would be exceedingly interesting. And if the boss of the Wall Street Journal goes to jail … There’s time for plenty of popcorn yet.
The media giant bought the team from the O’Malley family in 1998 for a then-record sum of $311 million. After pouring in an additional $200 million trying to field a successful team and to renovate Dodger Stadium, the company asserts it never made a profit, losing about $40 million a year. As a result, News Corp. needed a sale of $500 million or more to break even on its investment.
Sources said the actual dollar value for the club and its property holdings would be between $325 million and $340 million once discounts and credits are factored into the accounting.
There has been plenty of turmoil — and no playoff appearances — at Chavez Ravine in the five years since News Corp. purchased the Dodgers, ending a stable and successful 50-year reign by the O’Malley family, which brought the team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958.
The BSkyB deal is pretty much considered dead. Nick Clegg (LibDem vice-PM) has called for NewsCorp to pull its bid and Jeremy Hunt (Con Culture Secratary) has just said in the Commons that no decision will be made this year.
@Culture of Truth:
Oops, I misinterpreted, read it the wrong way. Sorry, my bad.
An additional filing has been added to the suit against NewsCorp by shareholders. This one accuses Murdoch of nepotism, improper oversight and dishonesty about claims he didn’t know of the hacking. Suit was filed in Delaware. No substantial coverage in the US press so far.
Roger Moore @ 34:
Well, to be fair, while I quite agree with you about “the sociopathic nature of big corporations”, the illegal and unethical behavior was probably unlikely to get written up in the company’s annual report: maybe because it was, ummm, illegal??
OTOH, however, the Murdock Empire’s hacking scandal wasn’t – and isn’t – new news: allegations of this sort of crap (and not just the Murdock Press) have been floating around for several years – if not decades. Presumably, Old Rupert, his family and minions decided to just tough it out and rely on their built-in fear-factor to keep the inquiries at bay: as it is, they seem now to be stuck in a lose-lose situation: under an uncomfortable spotlight, their political cover evaporating, and a major business deal (the BSkyB takeover) derailed: probably permanently.
Sooner or later, this IS going to impact the bottom line: and shareholders ARE going to have problems with that…
Yes, it’s certainly going to be difficult to claim both that the managers were both incapable of monitoring widespread illegal behavior in their company and that they were doing a good job of looking after their shareholders’ money. If the BSkyB deal falls through because of the scandal, it’s going to be difficult to defend against a shareholder lawsuit no matter what legal theory News Corporation’s lawyers put forward. Maybe the big shareholders can actually launch a successful proxy fight for control over the corporate board.
Pongo and I are apparently digital twins or at least flying in close formation (although in different threads).
These are people who voluntarily invested their money in Murdoch’s right-wing propaganda distribution company. They knew what they were getting into and investing in.
Even if the shareholders were to win a proxy fight and oust Murdoch, do you really think News Corps. political bias will change?
@ Calouste (42) — late response, distracted by, um, work. I wouldn’t be quite so sure about the BSkyB deal; they seem to be trying to delay it in order to consummate it later. Basically, if enough people now think it’s dead then they won’t be looking when it rises zombie-like from the grave, I think that’s the plan. Which certainly may not work …
To be entirely fair to Murdoch, there was no way they couldn’t have failed with MySpace. It was a Potemkin of a web site, a piece of crap that was built by douchebags and fools to look beautiful to potential acquirers. Murdoch shouldn’t be faulted for running it into the ground; he should be faulted for buying it at all.