Former Soviet KGB agent, current billionaire and emerging media baron Alexander Lebedev recently made his first true tidal waves in the waters of international public consciousness by beating up fellow oligarch Sergei Polonsky on Russian national television. Lebedev, in gray in the video above, owns the British newspapers the Independent and Evening Standard. Polonsky, meanwhile is the 40th wealthiest man in Russia.
Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Murdoch’
FishbowlLA thinks it takes some balls for the head of a company Rupert Murdoch had to unload for a net purchase price loss of $545 million to chime in with thoughts on how another suddenly embattled media firm might proceed. But that’s just what former Myspace president and current-outgoing CEO Mike Jones has done today at TheWrap under the headline “How to Fix Yahoo: The Innovator’s Dilemma.”
Towards the end of the matrix illustrated two-pager, Jones shares a most unfortunate Myspace tidbit. He writes that at the sputtering social network, he and his colleagues often debated whether to “upgrade the ship or move the passengers into new ships.” Insert Titanic joke(s) here.
It gets better. Jones actually has the gall to commiserate with Yahoo’s current predicament, suggesting that “we failed to capture the attention of the world–as did Yahoo’s $100M rebrand campaign.”
New York Times media reporter and Page One documentary subject David Carr is officially a multi-media star. He cleaned up last night on The Colbert Report, talking about Rupert Murdoch and the News of the World scandal. Rare to see Colbert flustered, but Carr cracked him up at least three times.
Love Carr’s reference to Murdoch’s “hot Chinese wife” saving him from a pie in the face. Here’s that video if you haven’t seen it.
Hollywood has been noticeably silent over the News of the World phone hacking scandal that has Rupert Murdoch‘s media empire backpedaling. Reuters says our town is “gloating silently” over the affair, due to the fact that Murdoch’s Fox Television network and 20th Century Fox film studio employ more than a few people ’round these parts.
But there are more than a few people in Hollywood who have every reason to cheer the paper’s demise. Media Matters compiled a nice roundup of Hollywood’s past clashes with NOTW. Included in the list is this fascinating little yarn. When actor Hugh Grant wore a wire during a discussion with a News of the World reporter a few months ago, this is what he was told:
So I was sent to do a feature on Moulin Rouge! at Cannes, which was a great send anyway. Basically my brief was to see who Nicole Kidman was shagging – what she was doing, poking through her bins and get some stuff on her. So Murdoch’s paying her five million quid to big up the French and at the same time paying me £5.50 to fuck her up . . . So all hail the master. We’re just pawns in his game. How perverse is that?
Kidman, incidentally, is reportedly the godmother to Murdoch’s two youngest daughters.
The Hollywood Reporter has an interesting piece up by an anonymous former employee of Rupert Murdoch‘s now defunct News of the World, detailing all the shady business that went on under then-editor-in-chief Andy Coulson.
Early on, the job entailed transcribing audiotapes that sleazy women made of footballers with whom they had sex. The girls would set up famous players, then sell them out to the paper in order to get some cash and fame. The recordings usually consisted of extended, loud orgasms; I would swear they were faking it as I transcribed the grunts and groans for my editors.
The reporter made her name at the paper for an attempt to catch Mike Tyson in the midst of a coke-fueled binge. She didn’t succeed, but her editors made a bunch of stuff up about the boxer and she was soon the toast of the newsroom.
Strange that the reporter chose to remain anonymous, as one would think she gave enough information to allow anyone who was curious enough to discern her identity. Anyway, worth the read in full.
The Daily Show‘s John Oliver does a tremendous job summing up just how big a story the implosion of the Rupert Murdoch-owned News of the World is in his home country: “Do you know how hard it is to disgrace a British tabloid?”
And how can you not love this line about Hugh Grant, who wore a wire to help expose News of the World‘s phone hacking: “The guy who got car head from an LA road prostitute is now the moral compass of my nation.”
Twenty to $30 million is the estimated selling price for the once giant social networking site Myspace. That’s a far cry from the $100 million News Corp. was hoping to charge, and a mere fraction of what the $580 million they bought Myspace for back in 2005.
The bargain basement pricing doesn’t bode well for the Bevery Hills-based company’s remaining 500 workers. According to the AP, inside sources are estimating that more than half of Myspace employees will get laid off.
It’s not yet known which of the interested buyers will purchase the company. News Corp. hopes to have a sale finalized by Thursday.
We’re still shocked that a hip cat like Rupert Murdoch could somehow run a burgeoning social networking site into the ground.
Great piece by Grantland’s Michael Weinrub today on the “Fox Box”–the 1994 Fox creation which displayed the score of the game on screen at all times during its NFL broadcasts. After some initial whining over its decorum, the “Fox Box” soon spread to practically every sports broadcast in the universe–immediately changing how we enjoyed our games.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off came out 25 years ago this month, and undeniably impacted the way a generation of youth talked, dressed, and lip-synced to Wayne Newton songs. Much of that movie is timeless, but here’s one thing that isn’t: When the high school principal, Ed Rooney, wanders into a pizza shop, spies a baseball game on the television set, and asks, “What’s the score?”
According to News Corp.‘s digital media guru Jim Miller, the company has set a 2-week deadline to determine the fate of its black sheep online media property MySpace. The LA-based social networking site lost $165 million for News Corp. in the most recent quarter ending in March. That’s $15 million more than MySpace lost for the company this time last year.
News Corp. has been shopping the site around for some time–supposedly trying to get $100 million for it after paying $580 million back in 2005. Surprise, surprise, they don’t seem to have had any luck.
We here at FishbowlLA sincerely hope News Corp. decides not to sell and to turn this ship around on their own. Mainly because we love seeing Rupert Murdoch lose money.
Last fall, Ongo.com—the Cupertino, California start-up headed up by former Skype exec Alex Kazim (pictured)–received $12 million in financing from Gannett Company, Inc., The New York Times Company, and The Washington Post Company. Today, it has confirmed the latest components of its centralized multi-media feed.
Subscribers to this iPad targeted app, which starts at the base monthly rate of $6.99 and can be enhanced a la carte, now get stories from the LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and nearly two dozen other additional sources:
Ongo has also added photography from Getty Images to news stories that originally included a Getty Images photo… “We’re honored that many of the world’s biggest media companies are turning to Ongo as a new way to bring their valuable news and information to news enthusiasts,” said Kazim.