Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

australian crawl, murdoch style...

murdoch inc

James Murdoch has been re-elected as the chairman of British broadcaster BSkyB, but critics who wanted him to resign over the phone hacking scandal that has rocked Britain say his position is weakened.

BSkyB said Murdoch won the support of more than 81 per cent of shareholders who voted on Tuesday, while nearly 19 per cent voted against him at the company's annual meeting.

News Corporation, the media conglomerate controlled by Murdoch's father Rupert Murdoch, owns 39 per cent of the company.

"doing a good job"...

In his chairman's statement to BSkyB shareholders, Murdoch said News Corp "remains a committed, long-term shareholder in Sky".

An effort to oust Murdoch from the News Corp board fell short last month with 35 per cent of shareholders at the company's annual meeting opposing his re-election to the board of directors.

BSkyB deputy chairman Nicholas Ferguson told shareholders that Murdoch was doing a good job.

"He runs an excellent board," he said. "Discussions are open and frank, his chairing is very good. He has put in place strong governance procedures. He has a strong strategic view."

hail the cartoonists of the world...

Compare the cartoon at top (repeated below) and this one by Dave Brown at the Independent:



Mine (published earlier) is not as sophisticated and is more infantile, but I only spend about 30 minutes on such crap:



cartoons of the year...


From an expectant Julia Gillard to a near-naked Tony Abbott, this year's best in political cartoons have gone on show at Canberra's Old Parliament House.

Organisers of the annual Behind the Lines exhibition have selected around 80 cartoons to showcase the lighter side of life on Capital Hill.

Curator Tania Cleary says she had the unenviable task of selecting the chosen from almost 900 submissions.

"2013 will be remembered as a year of challenges for Australia's political leaders, drama for their constituents and endless inspiration for the nation's cartoonists," she said.

"The exhibition tells the tale of three leaders - Gillard, Rudd and Abbott - through broken parliamentary alliances, caucus instability and leadership spills, prime ministerial changes, corruption scandals, cabinet reshuffles, policies and opinion polls."

The display also includes images from the winner of the Cartoonist of the Year award, David Rowe from the Financial Review newspaper.

Mr Rowe says it had been an easy year for finding humour in politics but he was grateful to see the end of former prime minister Kevin Rudd.

"I could never draw him," he said.


Some of the best cartoons in this country of course are "drawn" by a very modest Gus and published on this site... But in order to qualify for the exhibition one needs to be a member of the cartoonists union or be published in the Murdoch media... Gus flunks both these criteria of importance... Thus it's a slow slog and the only reward is you, the discerning reader... But even if no-one were looking at them, I would still publish... and be damned... till hell froze over.

I could have improved on my drawings of Kev Rudd but there was no point... was it?


a climatic storm in the family...

James Murdoch wants the world to know he is out of the family business.

Once considered a potential successor to Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch this week resigned from the board of the newspaper publisher News Corp, severing his last corporate tie to his father’s global media empire.

“My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions,” Murdoch, 47, wrote in his resignation letter, which News Corp disclosed in a filing shortly after the close of business Friday.

The two sides began discussing Murdoch’s departure from the News Corp board earlier this year, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

But his terse resignation note belied the behind-the-scenes drama that has brought Murdoch to this point in his life and career. And it widened the schism that has emerged between James, his 89-year-old father and his older brother, Lachlan, once a dynastic triumvirate that for years held sweeping influence over the world’s cultural and political affairs.

A political outlier in his conservative-leaning family, James Murdoch has sought to reinvent himself as an independent investor with a focus on causes more closely associated with liberals, like environmentalism, which he and his wife, Kathryn Murdoch, have long championed. He has also taken public stands against President Donald Trump, who has counted Fox News, a prime Murdoch asset, among his closest media allies.

Weeks ago, James and his wife jointly contributed more than $1.4 million to a fundraising committee for former Vice-President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president. And in February, as wildfires raged across Australia – his father’s birthplace – Murdoch issued a rebuke of his own family’s media properties, criticising how Murdoch publications have covered climate change.

Such public gestures came after James Murdoch’s hopes of succeeding his father at the helm of a worldwide empire had been all but extinguished. He had already departed Fox Corp., the family’s television and entertainment arm, which was mostly dismantled after his family transferred many of its assets to The Walt Disney Co. in a blockbuster sale that was completed last year.

His last formal link to the family business was through News Corp, which publishes influential broadsheets like The Wall Street Journal as well as powerful tabloids, including The Sun of London and The New York Post. The company also oversees several other papers in Britain and is Australia’s largest non-government publisher.

A spokeswoman for Murdoch declined to comment further on the reasons for his departure, saying the letter “speaks for itself.”

Rupert Murdoch, who holds the title of executive chairman at News Corp, and Lachlan Murdoch, the co-chairman, said in a joint statement on Friday: “We’re grateful to James for his many years of service to the company. We wish him the very best in his future endeavours.”

James Murdoch’s drift from his family began in earnest during the early part of the Trump era, around the time Lachlan was consolidating power and being seen more widely as their father’s preferred successor.


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grim news...

News Corp has posted a US$1.5bn loss, with its Australian and United Kingdom newspaper businesses suffering sharp declines in revenue and its Foxtel pay-TV business in Australia bleeding subscribers, new financial results for 2019-20 show.

The global media giant released its financial results for 2019/20 on Thursday in the US. The reports paint a grim picture across the last quarter and year, with the exception of its Dow Jones business.

News Corp Australia and News UK revenue declined 16% and 13% respectively across the year.

In the last quarter, as Covid-19 hit, revenue declined 31% at News Corp Australia and 22% at News UK.

The results come in a tumultuous week for News Corp, after James Murdoch resigned from the board on Saturday, citing “disagreements” over editorial content.

The company’s report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission made no mention of James but directly thanked Rupert and Lachlan, saying the successes of the company would not be possible without their leadership .

One of the few positives for News Corp was the performance of its Dow Jones business, which incorporates the Wall Street Journal and other financial wire services and publications

For the first time, the company reported separate figures for Dow Jones, a move the company said “better highlights its growth and value”. It managed to post a 3% profit, despite the crisis.

The picture was less rosy across the rest of its business.

Total revenues were down by 11% over the year, from $US10.07bn to $US9.01bn. Advertising revenues in July at the newspaper mastheads declined 25 to 30%.


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News Corp losses have nothing to do with the ABC. Uncle Rupe should make a deal with Google, Facebook and Twitter rather than trying to fight them... Say provide them with better content for a fee... But this could be a bad idea, as Google, Facebook and Twitter are trying to get rid of Trump in their own hypocritical ways, while Uncle Rupe is cagey about his position — after having placed The Donald on the throne in 2016... 


Still awaiting the vice-president choices... Surprise!

the black sheep...

Murdoch son raps media for ‘toxic politics’ (Financial Times, Jan 18, 2020)


By AFR | On 19 January 2021

James Murdoch has castigated the US media for the ‘‘toxic politics’’ threatening American democracy, saying proprietors are as culpable as politicians who ‘‘know the truth but choose instead to propagate lies’’.

The remarks by Rupert Murdoch’s youngest son, in an interview with the Financial Times and a further joint statement with his wife Kathryn, are his strongest public rebuke of America’s news industry since he parted ways with the family business built by his father.

Asked whether America’s dominant conservative news network Fox News had played a role in the riot that rocked Washington on January 6, James Murdoch said media groups had amplified election disinformation, leaving ‘‘a substantial portion’’ of the public believing ‘‘a falsehood’’.

‘‘The damage is profound,’’ Mr Murdoch said. ‘‘The sacking of the Capitol is proof positive that what we thought was dangerous is indeed very, very much so. Those outlets that propagate lies to their audience have unleashed insidious and uncontrollable forces that will be with us for years.

‘‘I hope that those people who didn’t think it was that dangerous now understand, and that they stop,’’ he added, while noting he had not ‘‘seen any evidence of that yet’’.

During the interview, set up to discuss his latest digital venture in India, Mr Murdoch did not directly mention Fox News, his father, who founded it, or his brother Lachlan, the chief executive of the Fox Corporation.

Fox News did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The network has long stressed the divide between its opinion programming and news coverage. While many Fox News hosts have championed the policy agenda of Donald Trump, the network’s journalists have often broken stories critical of the President.

Mr Murdoch, who was chief executive of 21st Century Fox from 2015 to 2019, said he was also speaking on behalf of his wife Kathryn, with whom he has charted an independent path from the conservative politics of the Murdoch empire. The couple were big donors to US President-elect Joe Biden’s presidential campaign and have backed organisations fighting climate change and fake news.

Rupert Murdoch’s six children each received up to $US2 billion ($2.6 billion) from the break-up of his media empire and the sale of his entertainment businesses to Walt Disney in 2019. Overlooked in the family succession battle, James went on to use the funds to establish Lupa Systems, an investment vehicle to build a media portfolio.

In August, he withdrew completely from the family’s news operations, resigning from the board of News Corp – which owns a stable of titles ranging from the Wall Street Journal to The Sun – because of ‘‘disagreements over certain editorial content’’.

While his objections are well known, until now he has been relatively guarded with public criticism. James, along with his siblings, still owns a significant share of the family trust, which people close to the Murdochs have speculated might be used to influence the direction of the empire after Rupert relinquishes control.

‘‘Spreading disinformation – whether about the election, public health or climate change – has realworld consequences,’’ James and Kathryn Murdoch said in a joint statement following the FT interview.

‘‘Many media property owners have as much responsibility for this as the elected officials who know the truth but choose instead to propagate lies. We hope the awful scenes we have all been seeing will finally convince those enablers to repudiate the toxic politics they have promoted once and forever.’’

When asked whether he saw signs of change, Mr Murdoch replied that he prayed people would ‘‘come to their senses’’ and said there was bound to be ‘‘a reckoning’’ for media.

Owners of news organisations, he said, were ‘‘being co-opted by forces that only want to stay in power, or are manipulating our discourse from abroad and are only too happy to make a mess and burn things down’’.


Alex Barker is the Financial Times’ Global Media Editor. Original post here.


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James is the black sheep of the Murdoch family as he has left the conglomerate, July 30/31, 2020...


See also:


when satire is prescient of sabotage... one learns something conspiratorial every day...


the consequence of a new serfdom... in you will find ways to improve performance in the future...