Murdoch on Time magazine cover for third time: ‘Tabloid bites man’

Politico | Time
As Mike Allen reported in his morning “Playbook,” Rupert Murdoch will grace the covers of next week’s Time magazine and Bloomberg Businessweek. This is Murdoch’s third appearance on the cover of Time. He appeared for the first time in 1977, when he bought New York magazine (which he sold in 1991). His second appearance was in 2007, when he was buying The Wall Street Journal. At the time, he said of the Bancroft family, “They can’t sell their company and still control it — that’s not how it works. I’m sorry!” The compromise: an independent editorial-oversight committee. Through the lens of the current News of the World scandal, note Murdoch’s 2007 take on his papers:

Murdoch cheerfully admits to meddling with his tabloids. “They’re different animals,” he says. “You’ve got to make people want to read ‘em. They’ve got to have some fun and a bit of edge. Agendas up to a point, and certainly crusades. But I don’t call all those shots. I haven’t got the time.” He doesn’t need to dictate or micromanage because he chooses editors who broadly agree with him. That’s not unusual in the newspaper business. Some papers are allowed to diverge — the Sunday Times skews conservative, the Times of London more moderate. …

“We’re very proud of what we do at all our papers.”

In the latest Time cover piece, “Tabloid Bites Man,” Catherine Mayer compares Murdoch to William Randolph Hearst.

When Murdoch calls, PMs and Presidents from Beijing to Rome answer the phone. In that respect, successive British leaders have acted no differently than their counterparts abroad, though they sprinted for the phone more eagerly. Prime Minister David Cameron admitted as much at a July 8 press conference. “The truth is, we have all been in this together,” he said. “The press, politicians and leaders of all parties — and yes, that includes me.”

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