Murdoch vows renewed emphasis on quality


In the face of a economic challenges measured on a global scale and the loss of a key executive, News Corporation mogul Rupert Murdoch promised employees that even while other companies are reducing quality to save money, his company would be upgrading its level of commitment.

In a memo to employees issued to address the imminent departure of Peter Chernin, Murdoch did say that it was the right time to streamline the company. But he also emphasized the company’s contrarian attitude to tough times – he sees the rough patches as an opportunity to expand while others are contracting.

“As you all know the downturn we are operating in is more severe and global than anything we have seen before. No company is immune to its effects.” But he emphasized preparations the company had made for the economic downturn and state, “In the past, we have met downturns with vigor, often departing from the herd. We have emerged much stronger.”

“We are in the midst of a phase of history in which nations will be redefined and their futures fundamentally altered. Many people will be under extreme pressure and many companies mortally wounded. Our competitors will be sorely tempted to take the easy beat, to reduce quality in the search for immediate dividends. Let me be very clear about our company: where others might step back from their commitment to their viewers, their users, readers and customers -– we will renew ours.”

RBR/TVBR observation: Murdoch is taking the classic stance for dealing with a downturn – take advantage of any timidity on the part of your competition and build share. Our advice to those of you competing with News Corp. or anyone else for that matter – if at all humanly possible, don’t be the one being taken advantage of.