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Posts Tagged ‘Rupert Murdoch’

Murdoch Speaks Out About Regan Firing

The New York Daily News’ Paul Colford reports on yesterday’s comments by NewsCorp chair Rupert Murdoch about why Judith Regan simply had to be let go. “She wasn’t for us,” he said, “She turned out not a team player, and that’s putting it mildly.” Interviewed at “Media Summit New York,” held at McGraw-Hill‘s headquarters, Murdoch recalled that he signed off on Regan’s OJ Simpson project, as long as payment would go only to the ex-jock’s kids. “I said [to Regan], ‘If it really reads like a confession, he gets no money,’” Murdoch said. “It’s my fault. I should have been closer to it.”

That’s because he “lost touch” with the project and learned about the public outcry at his ranch in Australia. But since he greenlit the project, that wasn’t why he okayed Regan’s firing: it was the Mickey Mantle book, which Murdoch called a “pseudo, pornographic thing.” Said Murdoch, “I thought, oh God, we don’t want to go through this again. Just cancel that book.” Others can, and will, point out the irony of Murdoch – a longtime peddler in tabloid news – calling Peter Golenblock‘s fictional memoir akin to pornography, but at least now there are on-the-record comments from the head guy…

Publishing Unbound, Google-Style

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A crowd more than 300-strong gathered at the New York Public Library‘s Celeste Bartos Room for Google‘s all-day Unbound conference to be told, in no uncertain terms by an array of speakers, that if you’re not moving with the digital times, you’re just not a 21st century publisher. I paraphrase, of course, but that was certainly the vibe in the air what with Seth Godin comparing publishers to outlying planets, Cory Doctorow (on the fiction side) and Daniel Weiss (on the educational side) explaining why giving content away is a good thing, and Tim O’Reilly advocating for Google Book Search as a way of capturing the almost 75% of books that aren’t accounted for by not being in print or in the public domain.

Aside from Godin and Doctorow, Chris Anderson was on hand to give an abbreviated spiel of his bestselling THE LONG TAIL, Stephen Dubner (of Freakonomics fame) talked about how the related website – now a blog with additional content features – brings in over 2 million page views a month, and J.A. Konrath stressed the importance of having “things to offer” instead of “things to sell” on an author website. But the big hit of the afternoon – at least, judging by applause – was Josh Kilmer-Purcell, who used Powerpoint in hilarious fashion to describe how MySpace hooked him up with fellow members of the Memoirist Collective. And for those who need help interpreting the slide, Kilmer-Purcell illustrated how his book, I AM NOT MYSELF THESE DAYS, was published by HarperPerennial, which is part of HarperCollins, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, who owns “half the world” – and when the Judith Regan graphic cued up, the room erupted in laughter…

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As for OJ, Overseas Looks Attractive

Just as Ron updated with the latest on Judith Regan, TIME continues to give legs to the OJ side of things, speculating that he may be in a position to resell rights to IF I DID IT once they revert back to him, likely in 12 months’ time. Several European publishers are said to be clamoring to print the story in their respective territories, according to TIME’s source, as Rupert Murdoch‘s high-profile rejection has only made the book more attractive. Indeed, soon after the cancellation, says the source, OJ Simpson‘s camp asked Murdoch’s representatives to surrender the rights earlier than the original deal stipulates so that Simpson can cash in overseas.

Should that happen, expect some muted version of the American outcry to begin anew – unless Simpson elects to hawk his book in a country that has no problems whatsoever with giving murderers (alleged or otherwise) their publishing due. Issei Sagawa, looks like you might have some competition…

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