Murdoch: The Dirty Dumper

Rupert Murdoch, known as the Dirty Digger, is more like the Dirty Dumper as he drops ad prices in New York (and he’s known for dropping cover prices in London) — because he apparently doesn’t really give a damn about making money with his newspapers, he cares about influence and killing his ideological enemies. The New York Times vows not to drop to his level — and rates — as Murdoch starts his New York would-be Times killer. We’ll see. Keep that in mind when you hear about Murdoch pushing business models charging for content. Profitability in news isn’t his model. His agenda is. Just saying.

  • Good on him. It’s about time the biased, lying NYT got a kick.

  • OK I think Murdoch can be very ridiculous, but I don’t see the problem here, Jeff. It’s just your run of the mill price competition. Competition is a good thing.

    • Maggie

      When you see the havoc bestowed upon the UK press you’ll understand it is more than market forces.

      • And the Guardian going completely free online didn’t have a similar effect?

        Competition is competition. Of course it’s going to bestow havok on the competitors, if it’s effective.

  • Donna

    Hi Jeff,
    Basically I want to start a business online ( after I finished your book WWGD), do you have any suggestions?
    please email me at [email protected]

  • Tom

    So Rupert Murdoch, the billionaire, ISN’T interested in making money? Riiight.

    And you talk about his agenda as if having an agenda is somehow evil. Every news organization in the world has an agenda, and everyone knows that, so I’m not sure that particular criticism is fair.

    • Not on his newspapers, he’s not.

      Once again, you’re jumping to conclusions. I worked for him. I defended him when he bought the Journal. Look it up. But I really think he has lost it. I mean, lost it. And now all he wants is to carry his newspaper legacy to his grave with him. And they’ll be there together.

      • Tom

        I honestly didn’t know you had a history with Murdoch, so my bad on that one. If you say he’s lost it, then I’ll take your word for it, because it’s honestly hard for me to believe he ever had it.

        And when I was speaking about you being unfair, I didn’t really mean that as being unfair to Murdoch, in particular. I meant to criticize any news organization for putting their agenda first is unfair because, in my opinion, that’s what they all do, regardless of which way they lean poitically.

        BTW, I love how much you interact with commenters on this blog, even dopes like me who disagree with you. :)

      • I don’t understand. Are you literally saying you think that Murdoch wants to not make any money off of his newspapers? It seems more likely to me that he just thinks he can beat his competition in this move.

        After all, it’s not like Murdoch just gets to act unilaterally–he’s got a whole company around him. If he started acting like a lunatic and throwing money in the furnace, do you think there wouldn’t be consequences?

  • Mike

    Did anybody really believe that he would maintain the journalistic (NOT editorial) standards of the WSJ? He has completely mucked up the WSJ, and clearly has no clue whatsoever with his plans for paywalls. WSJ is a specific case, as most subscriber fees are paid by businesses that deduct it as an investment expense. I look forward to his looming failures.

  • Engineer

    Fox News saw that the American public wanted an alternative to CNN. Now FNC is the #2 cable channel and CNN is on its last legs.

    Any business-minded person in Murdoch’s position would see the Times as ripe target.

    It’s unfortunate that the media establishment somehow perceives this as something noxious – they should be asking themselves if there is something the Times can do to improve its product. They would prefer to ship the public off to reeducation camp if they could.

  • Engineer —

    1.CNN is not on its last legs. It is doing a terrible job attracting ratings in the United States in primetime on one of its two channels (HLN is growing). Revenue from primetime ratings of CNN-US represents about 10% of its business.

    2.You refer to the “media establishment” as perceiving News Corp’s actions as being “something noxious.” You cannot seriously believe that News Corp is not a fully paid-up member, indeed leader, of the media establishment.

    3.Jarvis, in his post, is referring to the theory that News Corp’s business model is to operate its journalistic enterprises as loss leaders in order to maximize political clout to obtain regulatory relief and other governmental special treatment for its money-making non-journalism media. Admittedly FOX News Channel eventually contradicted this theory, since it ended up making money ten years after its inception. Just because FNC was an exception, there is no reason to believe that the general theory is not true. Check Jarvis’ link to Eric Beecher for details.

    • Marco

      Don’t forget the sale of the Weekly Standard; that sale directly contradicts Jeff’s point … if Murdoch only cared about ideology, he would have kept this right leaning, money losing media property.

      In fact the evidence for ideology over profit, is more pronounced at places like NBC, CBS or ABC … any of these news outlets could change their format and ideology and eat into Fox News profits … but instead, they stay their course and continue to lose money.

      This move seems designed to bring about the destruction of a competitor … I doubt News Corp will make much money, but it won’t cost them much either … and it will definitely hurt a competitor where it hurts, by driving ad rates down. Oh, and that means that advertisers will win … who knows, maybe they’ll even pass along some of their ad savings onto their consumers in the form of lower prices.

  • Gary Owens

    This is like two vicious dinosaurs going for each other’s throats. Any reduction in the power of both of these supporters of the American two party system (with their fake left wing vs right wing meme and biased “journalism”) will be a boon for the world.

  • SgtHulka

    Gee, if Pinch was doing the same thing he’s be hailed as an idiot-savant.

    Murdoch is following standard practice for increasing market share…..Cut your pricing and kill off the weak-sisters.

    Bravo, Rupert.

  • ronp123

    As someone famously commented on the perils of inherited wealth and its relationship to the success of the enterprise: “shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” punch, pinch, pooch, whatever – a combination of arrogance, money suck and weak talent has doomed the Times. it is a faint xerox copy of what it was. Murdoch’s crime is that he has successful print and internet products that people pay (stop the presses) money for. times select did not fail because they charged for it – it failed because it was bad content. I like the fact that Murdoch has thrown down the gauntlet regarding paying for content. nothing stimulates a market to seek excellence than having to rely on a customer to pony up money month after month. hopefully he will be successful and the wheat will truly be separated from the chaff.

  • So Murdoch marking down prices in order to dominate a market is bad, while Google giving away product (Android) in order to dominate a market (phones) is good?

    Jeff, I think your bias is showing…

  • dumper

    Good on him. It’s about time the biased, lying NYT got a kick.