Friday, July 18, 2014

1358 Rupert? Call Him Lola

Why?  Because as we learned in the 1955 Broadway musical Damn Yankees “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.”  Adler and Ross knew a little about Rupert Murdoch, even if they’d probably never heard of him… likely because he was only 24 when “Yankees” opened at the 46th Street Theater.

Murdoch is the last Great Media Baron Standing.  Oh, yeah, there are other big tycoons of media: Barry Diller, Sumner Redstone, the current Hearst, the current Newhouse, Mike Bloomberg.

But there’s none who can swashbuckle like Rupert.  It’s hard to think of an absurd major deal he’s made in the last 30 years that has failed to turn to gold… if you discount a few websites for which he overpaid.

The Times of London, Dow Jones, Fox, and on and on.  And now the king of fake conservative sleaze, Page 6 gossip and Page Three nakedness has his little heart set on Time Warner.

Time Warner has separated itself from one of its two biggest losers, Time Inc.  It’s trying to separate itself from the other one, Time Warner Cable.

That leaves it with nothing but the cream of its media properties. Like CNN and Warner Bros. Pictures. And that sets Murdoch- the- cat’s whiskers twitching.  

Here’s the Murdoch acquisition technique:

--Make the bid which is usually rejected.
--Divide the owners or stockholders and buy in.
--Remake the offer, while promising he’ll keep his hands off of the acquisition.
--Stir up the waters until enough stockholders and stakeholders agree to his terms.
--Shed some conflicting divisions.
--Renege on all the other promises.

It worked with the London Times.  It worked with the Wall Street Journal.  And it’ll work this time.

In many ways, Murdoch improves what he buys.  The Journal, America’s greatest trade paper, was in the doldrums and is better as a part of NewsCorp.

The New York Post, always a make believe newspaper, is at least fun to read even if it does look like they made it up a week in advance.

Fox’s non- news, non- commentary channels have become a major contender in TV land because they’ve made bold moves:  “The Simpsons,” “House,” “American Idol,” “Cops,” “Family Guy.”

Murdoch may be a bad guy.  He’s a pirate.  He’s an ideologue. His media properties have a better CIA than the CIA.  He’s a terrible influence. He’s a right wing whacko.  You wouldn’t allow your daughter to date him, even if he is a doddering octogenarian and she wears a chastity belt.

But don’t count him out.  Don’t EVER count him out.  This may be his last hurrah.  But if he continues knocking on the door, someone’s going to open it at let him in.

Whatever Lola wants.

Shrapnel:

--Comic book shockers: Archie Andrews -- no longer a high schooler -- is killed defending his best friend who is gay.  The new Captain America of Marvel Comics is black. About time for both.

Grapeshot:

-Is any veteran LIRR rider surprised the “inevitable” strike won’t happen after last minute down to the wire breathless negotiations starring the lovely and talented Andrew Cuomo?

-Flying Malaysia Air is risky business these days no matter where you’re headed, no?

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com
© WJR 2014

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