Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Michael Wolff: NY Post Soon To Be Gone

In Britain's edition of GQ:

The New York Post could well be Rupert Murdoch's most beloved newspaper. It's the title that by losing so much money - as much as $100m (£60m) a year - has arguably helped make his fortune. It has been his bully pulpit and cudgel in the United States. It's the vehicle by which he has punished enemies and rewarded friends, an instrument of rough justice that has been incredibly valuable to his empire. The Post may be his purest vision of the media world - a mix of media and business news, gossip and tabloid morality tales, all in service to whatever has moved him personally at any given moment. It's a package that in fact seems to appeal to nobody as much as to him. And it is the paper that he has most strained credulity by keeping alive - for pure love and sentiment, and beyond reason and usefulness.

But it will end soon.

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Murdoch's newspaper empire is now beginning to "rationalise" itself, in cruel business parlance. That is, with his company split into its entertainment side, 21st Century Fox, and its now independent newspaper side, News Corp, his papers will no longer be subsidised by TV and movie money. Hence, Murdoch newspapers will have to make much more business sense then they have in the past. For better or worse.

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As a favourite among media people, the Post arguably became second only to the New York Times in newspaper influence in the US.

It set the national gossip agenda while, at the same time, it was on its way to losing more money than - I say this with all due consideration - possibly any other media organisation in history: five or six or seven billion in real dollars down the drain.

It has been, in many ways, the last unreconstructed newspaper in the US - that is, a newspaper as urban artefact, an irreligious, if not sacrilegious exception to behaviour, an alcoholic refuge, an entertainment and storytelling machine, an instrument of brute power, absent any modern corporate sense of respectability and decorum. It has, contrary to the concerns of a type of newsperson Murdoch calls "the bishops", never been concerned with journalism - that ethereal concept of virtue - but with creating a far more complex and artful idea - that is, a newspaper.
...
Anyway, the feeling at the Post these days is grim. The staff has been deeply, even mortally, reduced. Its editor, Allan, seems to be on duty in Australia as well as New York (often people don't seem to know where he is). And while the Post offices at News Corp on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan used to be Murdoch's refuge, now he's much more often found at the Wall Street Journal, relocated to Murdoch HQ, which has replaced the Post in his ambitions and affections.

He doesn't need the Post any more. Finally, he's outgrown it.

The Post, I suppose, deserves its ignominy. I, like many others, will feel very good when I'm still standing and the Post isn't.

But I will miss it, too.

Not me - it will be good riddance when the Post finally goes to its grave.

Read the whole Wolff piece - it gives great insight into the way Murdoch runs his Empire and what it takes to survive a showdown with it.

7 comments:

  1. I piss on a photo of Rupert Murdoch every night...

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    1. Thanks for that line - funniest thing I've heard all day!

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  2. Mega wealthy Harvard has had the same merciless policy of expecting various units to be self-financing.
    The motto is "every tub has its own bottom."
    http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2002/10/24/harvard-explained-where-does-the-phrase/

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    1. Posties are always claiming market capitalism is so great - now that they're being forced to squeeze workers, cut costs, increase profits, I bet they don't like it when it's trained on them.

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  3. I noticed that...May 17, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    In Spanish, cada puerco tiene su Sabado! Soooo Weeee!

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  4. The NY Post has been contaminated by Murdoch's unfitness.
    Its closure is the inevitable consequence of the unfitness of Murdoch's vision and his management.

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    1. I look forward to the day when we can say "This is the last edition of the NY Post." And since those folks who work at the Post advocate for more teacher firings all of the time, I will not be sad to see these people hit the unemployment line.

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