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Are News Corp’s PR Changes and Rupert Murdoch’s Recent Gaffes Related?

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Earlier this week, we reported that News Corporation chief marketer Gary Ginsberg, who also has a crisis communications background, will be leaving the company. In the last two weeks, News Corporation’s CEO, Rupert Murdoch, has been involved in several “PR gaffes.”

Last Monday, in an interview with Sky News Australia, Murdoch said Fox News anchor Glenn Beck, “was right” when he called Pres. Obama a racist.

Then, last Thursday News Corp. COO Chase Carey was asked what he thought about Murdoch’s comments on pulling Wall Street Journal content from Google’s index. Carey laughed and said, “I haven’t spoken with him since then.” Not exactly a ringing endorsement of the boss’s plan.

Then earlier this week, Murdoch called New York Gov. David Patterson “…a very nice, honest man who’s blind and can’t read braille and doesn’t really know what’s going on. It’s not a joke, it’s a tragedy we’re facing at the moment.” He later issued an apology to the governor.

Just this morning, Murdoch was caught off guard by a reporter from Media Matters. All of this got us wondering: are Murdoch’s PR gaffes tied to the departure of his top PR man, Ginsberg, or is it just coincidence?

A source close to the matter tells PRNewser they can’t imagine them being related, since Ginsberg hasn’t yet left and there has been no transition. However, the source did say, “It’s a contrast to how the Fox News [PR] people are in terms of interviews because they monitor every interview and they are very cautious on every point. It seems on the News Corp. side they lost sight of that. I don’t mean that in a negative way at all to the Fox News people. They are very on top of it and they are very careful.”

We discussed the topic on today’s mediabistro Morning Media Menu podcast, among other media news. You can listen to all the past podcasts archived at mediabistro.com or download episodes for free on iTunes.

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