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Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Murdoch’

News Corp. May Spin-Off Publishing & Newspaper Business

The Wall Street Journal reported today that News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch is considering splitting his publishing and newspaper business off from his entertainment business.

The potential move would separate HarperCollins and News Corp.’s newspapers (including The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post) into a “far smaller” company compared to the entertainment business. The company issued a terse official confirmation that it is “considering a restructuring to separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies.”

Here’s more from the WSJ: “A split of News Corp.’s businesses would be welcomed by outside investors who are more interested in News Corp.’s television and film assets than its slow-growing publishing businesses. The entertainment assets make up by far the bulk of the company, contributing three-quarters of the $25.34 billion in revenue for the first nine months of the fiscal year. Those assets accounted for roughly 90% of the operating profit in that period.”

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Vanity Fair Traces Rupert Murdoch’s Rise & Fall in New eBook

As the phone hacking scandal unravels at News Corps,  Vanity Fair has a new eBook out that traces the history of CEO Rupert Murdoch‘s company.

Rupert Murdoch, The Master Mogul of Fleet Street is a collection of 20 stories from the magazine edited together by editor Graydon Carter.  The book traces Murdoch’s rise to power and illustrates the history of his current predicament through stories by Sarah Ellison, Edward Klein, James Wolcott, and Michael Wolff among others.

The book is magazine’s second eBook of collected stories from the publication. It is currently available for $3.99 in the Kindle and Nook stores.

Nick Davies Lands Deal for Book on Rupert Murdoch & Phone Hacking Scandal

Guardian journalist Nick Davies has inked a book deal to write about Rupert Murdoch and the phone hacking scandal that rocked News Corp.. Entitled Hack Attack: How the Truth Caught up with the World’s Most Powerful Man, publication is set for fall 2012.

Faber and Faber publisher Mitzi Angel bought U.S. rights for the book in a pre-empt. Grainne Fox at Fletcher and Company negotiated the deal on behalf of the Jonathan Pegg Literary Agency in London. Publication is planned for tall 2012. Davies (pictured, via) also wrote Flat Earth News about media distortions–read his Guardian work at this link.

Here’s more about the book, from the release: “On July 8, 2009, Nick Davies broke the story that Rupert Murdoch’s News International had paid £1 million to settle legal cases that threatened to lift the lid on News of the World journalists’ involvement in illegal phone-hacking … The seismic shocks affecting Rupert Murdoch’s international media empire and family as well as law enforcement agencies and officials and highly placed political figures are already being called the biggest political scandal in Great Britain in seventy-five years. Davies, author of the bestseller FLAT EARTH NEWS, intends to provide an authoritative account and commentary on the News International Scandal, including new revelations.”

Piers Morgan Disputes MP’s Hacking Claim During Rupert Murdoch Hearing

During the Parliament’s long interrogation of Rupert Murdoch this morning, one MP mentioned a book by CNN host Piers Morgan. TVNewser explained how MP and author Louise Mensch alleged that Morgan wrote in his 2005 autobiography (The Insider: Private Diaries of a Scandalous Decade) how he had hacked phones for a story.

Morgan denied the claim in a Twitter statement: “That MP just claimed I boasted in my book of using phone-hacking for a scoop. Complete nonsense. Just read the book. I’ve never hacked a phone, told anyone to hack a phone, or published any stories based on the hacking of a phone. I wrote in my book that someone warned me phones could be hacked, so I changed my pin number. That’s it.”

Mensch (pictured, via) has written twelve books, and her official biography dedicated a paragraph to her writing career:  “On her 22nd birthday, Louise’s passion for writing was realised with a major publishing deal. To date, Louise has written twelve novels including a string of bestsellers. She has sold over two million books worldwide.”

News of the World To Be Shuttered

Today News Corporation deputy COO James Murdoch announced that the company will shutter News of the World following an ongoing phone-tapping scandal. The 168-year-old UK newspaper has over two million subscribers.

Here’s more from his statement: “This Sunday will be the last issue of the News of the World. Colin Myler will edit the final edition of the paper. In addition, I have decided that all of the News of the World’s revenue this weekend will go to good causes. While we may never be able to make up for distress that has been caused, the right thing to do is for every penny of the circulation revenue we receive this weekend to go to organisations – many of whom are long-term friends and partners – that improve life in Britain and are devoted to treating others with dignity.”

Rupert Murdoch bought the famous tabloid in 1969 as he built his News Corp empire. If you want to read more about Murdoch’s time at the paper, we’ve linked to free samples of five books about his newspaper legacy.

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Sarah Ellison Makes Friends and Enemies with War at the Wall Street Journal

It goes without saying that your colleagues may not be too pleased to find out you’re writing a book about the inner dealings of the company. And when that company is as esteemed as the Wall Street Journal and said tome is an insider account of its sale to Rupert Murdoch, well, let’s just say you should probably start looking for another gig just in case.

“I mean, a lot of people I talked to did [like the book] and some didn’t,” said Sarah Ellison, author of War at the Wall Street Journal. “I feel like at the very top level of Dow Jones, I don’t think that the people who read it liked it.”

Ellison also told mediabistro.com founder Laurel Touby in the final segment of Media Beat how she was able to include so much detail about the main characters, including Rupert Murdoch.

“The day that Murdoch essentially fired Marcus Brauchli, I was traveling with him that day. And so that was a literal fly on the wall kind of thing. And I heard conversations. That was a level of detail where it was just a reporter’s dream.”

Part 1: Sarah Ellison Calls Wall Street Journal Sale ‘An Epic Clash of Cultures’

Part 2: Sarah Ellison on Writing War at The Wall Street Journal

Beyond Amazon and Macmillan: Is It Too Late to Change the $9.99 eBook Price Point?

11gEvSNO43L._SL150_.jpgAs the sixth full day of the standoff between Amazon and Macmillan begins, the online bookseller still has not reactivated many of the buttons that allow customers to buy Macmillan books directly from Amazon (as of this 10:53 a.m. EST writing).

The Wrap covered the whole debate in an article, quoting this GalleyCat editor–who worried (but did not endorse) that it may be too late to convince readers to adapt to a price point higher than $9.99.

What do you think? Will readers pay more than $9.99?

Daily Finance writer (and former GalleyCat editor) Sarah Weinman thought publishers should work hard to combat that price point: “Amazon has done a great job of marketing the illusion that an e-book should be $9.99 … So how can publishers tell consumers, in clear terms, why $9.99 is bad and convince them that discount culture shouldn’t screw over the authors they profess to love?”

Here’s more coverage of this long, strange week: Macmillan received a supportive standing ovation at an industry program yesterday. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has dipped his toe into the eBook pricing debate. Macmillan author John Scalzi has rejected boycott and urged readers to buy books instead. Meanwhile, some Amazon customers continue to boycott Kindle books priced higher than $9.99. As of this writing, 1,724 different comments have been posted in response to Amazon’s note to customers about the price war.

Rupert Murdoch Knocks Amazon’s $9.99 eBook Price

rupert_murdoch_tokyo.pngToday the News Corp. CEO hinted that HarperCollins will join Macmillan in negotiating higher eBook prices.

UPDATE: As the fifth full day of the standoff begins, many Macmillan books are still not available for direct sale on Amazon (as of this 7:45 a.m. EST writing).

All Things Digital reporter Peter Kafka has been liveblogging an interview with Rupert Murdoch about News Corp.’s fourth quarter earnings this afternoon. The company owns HarperCollins, so talk turned to eBook pricing.

Here’s an intriguing quote from Murdoch: “We don’t like the Amazon model of $9.99 … we think it really devalues books and hurts all the retailers of hardcover books. We’re not against electronic books, on the contrary, we like them very much, lower costs to us, but we want some room to manuever … And now Amazon willing to sit down with us again.”

Meanwhile, the NY Times reports that “some Macmillan books were creeping back” for direct sale on Amazon’s website. You can test the availability by following links to John Scalzi‘s Old Man’s War or William Poundstone‘s Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value. (Via Sarah Weinman)

Michael Wolff: “Literate people should boycott books”

mwolff_pic.jpgRupert Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff (pictured, via) chastised the publishing industry in a provocative column this week, suggesting that “literate people should boycott books” until publishers stop pushing celebrity memoirs and ghostwritten political books.

Here’s an excerpt: “Publishers publish fake books because, if you have an ‘author’ who has some larger cause to promote, the publisher gets free promotion. What the publisher has traded for such an abundance of promotion is its own brand. HarperCollins does not really believe Sarah Palin has written a valuable book … these are desperate times and real books are an increasingly equivocal proposition anyway, so almost all publishers are willing to engage in the strategic mix-up between real books and fake books.”

Wolff most recently wrote the biography, “The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch.” He also founded the website Newser, where his publishing column was published.

Blair Picks Barnett to Broker Book Deal

Yesterday afternoon the Bookseller broke the story that literary lawyer to the stars Bob Barnett would be representing Tony Blair – and shopping around the former UK prime minister’s interests to America first. So of course, people are wondering a) who will get the book and b) how much they will have to pay for it. Bill Clinton money? Alan Greenspan money? Something even greater?

The advance will be inflated by Blair’s perceived value in the US, said one leading publisher of political books. “The Americans love him. They see him as an articulate George W. Bush. He’ll get a good whack out of a US publisher.” And the direct approach to the US is seen to thwart UK agents who were vying for a slice of the action. “It will be a shoot out between HarperCollins and Random House, but I think HarperCollins will prevail despite the much trumped link with Gail Rebuck‘s husband. [Rupert] Murdoch‘s keen and he’s got deep pockets,” said a major non-fiction publisher. “They’ve been political bedfellows for a very long time, and [News Corp] is a multimedia company,” a leading UK literary agent added. Shootout royale? Major league auction? Stay tuned, as the drill goes..

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