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Murdoch’s News Corp on offense, everyone else on defense in news business 10/25/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Murdoch, News Corporation, NYTimes, Washington Post.
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Murdoch’s recent Wall Street Journal acquisition and Fox Business Channel launch have set him apart from his competitors. He continues to drive full speed ahead into markets that others see as declining, if not dying. This week we saw it again when Murdoch’s U.K. publishing arm, News International, invested in an online search engine specially designed for real estate. Ostensibly, this move is designed to catch survival-critical advertising revenues that newspapers now seem destined to lose, and drag them over to an online news operation.

Meanwhile, it seems like every mainstream outlet has shifted into reverse. The Washington Post decided years ago that the newspaper business was hopeless, and with investor Warren Buffet’s help diversified so much into education, broadcasting, and cable that it can now afford to dump the paper entirely. Media companies Belo and E.W. Scripps are splitting-away their newspaper publishing arms from their other businesses, ready for possible divestitures. Knight-Ridder and the Tribune Company have already bailed.

Which leaves the NY Times as Chicken-Little watching the sky fall. All her eggs are still in the same newspaper basket, as the Fox’s NY Post and Wall Street Journal loiter in the same NYC market, licking their chops. Times publisher Sulzberger is in a “Pinch,” and it may be too late to fly the coop.

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