News Corporation founder Rupert Murdoch went on his own Fox Business Network and said he plans to split his corporation in two are in keeping with his 58-year quest to create value for his shareholders. He also said TV is holding up well against new competition from the internet.
The interview was conducted by Neil Cavuto.
Murdoch is much more optimistic about business conditions in the US than he is in Europe, based on the massive struggles it is having with the euro and with the financial health of many of the continent’s nations. This is despite his misgivings about the Supreme Court decision on affordable health care, and despite his misgivings about the current occupant of the White House.
The split, which has been discussed for some time, has nothing whatsoever to do the the hacking scandal in Great Britain. “It’s got nothing to do with that at all. At. All. This is not in reaction; this is looking forward to what is best for our companies and what’s best for our shareholders…This is going to take at least a year to do. We hope we will be over the vast bulk of it by the end of it.”
Asked who will head up the print business, Murdoch said, “We don’t know yet. We have great division heads; some of them very new, in fact they are all new in the last six months in those positions. We have great management across the whole company. Maybe we will steal someone from FOX News.”
The reason for the split? “I believe our shareholders will benefit. I have spent 58 years building this company. I realized the logic of it and how all the company would be better managed and a lot better in every way.”
Murdoch expressed confidence in the future of media, particularly on the broadcast side. “But it is changing. We have seen what has happened with search advertising. It works and is flooded with money, which was previously in newspapers, particularly Sunday newspapers. They have been affected. But television is holding on very well. The economic climate is uncertain and I would say that in the upfronts for the big networks, they have achieved some increases in rates, but not in total money. It was a little harder this year than it has been in previous years. The money is coming into cable channels like FOX News.”
RBR-TVBR observation: Two of the world’s most successful business executives – Rupert Murdoch and Warren Buffett – are focusing on finding a successful 21st Century business model for newspaper, which is practically an ancient medium in this day and age. We would strongly advice anybody else who wishes to earn a living in that medium to pay close attention to what the two of them do.
FBN provided RBR-TVBR with video links to select excerpts from the interview:
Murdoch: SCOTUS Ruling on Health Care a Win for Obama
Murdoch: Split Benefits Company and Shareholders
Murdoch: Much More Bullish on U.S. than England