Thursday 28 July 2011

How the Murdochs can save themselves: Sell the Sun and put the Times' newspapers in a trust

Rupert Murdoch's biographer Michael Wolff has come with a strategy which he claims would restore the Murdochs' damaged reputation over the phone hacking scandal - and help preserve British journalism.

Speaking at the London School of Economics, Wolff said the Murdochs would be able to "hold their heads high" if they sold the Sun and used the cash to put The Times and Sunday Times in a trust, similar to the Guardian's Scott Trust.

He said such an arrangement would "save British journalism for another generation or two. People would say 'O.K. let bygones be bygones'."

Wolff claimed that within News Corp everything flowed down from Rupert Murdoch and there was a "lack of independent life, especially for the newspapers."

Pic: Jon Slattery


Jaraparilla said...

Why would Murdoch want a paper over which he has no control, and which cannot be used to further his own political and business agendas? Nice idea, but it will never happen. Murdoch is scum.

Anonymous said...

That's surely letting him and the rest off too lightly. I really don't think it is time to be all nice about this with "let bygones be bygones" kind of talk.

Phone hacking is just one element. What about the overly-aggressive business policies, the political bullying, the NOTW jobs lost, the way in which he has steered conservative politicians toward environmental harm for corporate gain? And more.

Yes, save journalism. No, no easy rides for Murdoch.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they could save themselves a bit of tax that way as well....

[sorry, I'll get me coat...]

Alan W said...

Didn't the Times and Sunday Times lose almost £100 over the last couple of years? The sale of the Sun would have to raise £1.2bn to keep it going.

Except even that wouldn't be enough. Print sales are the money generator and they are shrinking fast. Online advertising brings in very little and the current subscription model is a failure (80,000 paying customers?).

Paul Tyson said...

The current model for newspapers won't work long-term, it's too expensive. Possibly the HuffPost offers a sustainable business model but there's no investigative journalism and it's not much more than a glorified blog.

TV news is the way ahead. Hence the Murdochs want all of BSkyB and presumably the impartiality requirements removed - then they'll have the influence they've enjoyed in the past AND the cashflow.

Paul Linford said...

Nice idea even if it won't happen. To bring the Murdoch story full circle, the Times/Sunday Times Trust would surely have to be chaired by Sir Harry Evans.

Alrich said...

A trust is a nice idea but there are legal issues that make it unlikely explained here The best option would be a private company with independent board – but Murdoch has had considerable problems with the concept of 'independent' in the past