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Murdock quits Australia « Previous | |Next »
April 10, 2004

So the Murdock's exit Australia for domicle in America. Well gone are the days when the foundation stone of the media empire was a now defunct afternoon tabloid in Adelaide.

David Rowe

News Corp is a local company that became global, shed its original nationality and reinvent itself as American. athe strategy makes sense. Most of News Corp's income comes from the US--It is a $60 billion global heavyweight with a global pay TV network.

So what does that mean for media ownership on Australia? That Murdoch judges that there will be no lifting of the media ownership rules in the near future? That Murdock will offload the Australian arm (News Ltd|) of News Corp? Or make News Ltd a separate entity? That it will buy out the Fox partners?

That it will loose favoured status in Canberra? No more special deals for an American-owned News Corp? No more looking sideways as News Corp buys Telstra out of Foxtel? NO more helping News Corp acquire a fourth televison licence. No more watering down the anti-siphoning laws in favour of pay TV.

Will the Murdoch papers continue to savage a Latham-led ALP?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 7:01 PM | | Comments (5)


Does the move mean that The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne's The Age will be the only Australian-owned capital-city daily newspapers?

At one stage Murdoch was trying to ring fence Fairfax and then attacking The AGE's circulation.

I do not know if that strategy to marginalize The AGe and weaken Fairfax is still in place.

The West Australian has an open share register- it's basically independent, so in answer to Ron, they won't be the only Australian owned papers.

Murdoch's headquarters move to the US will mean nothing at all for Australia.

The move reflects the size of Murdoch's US operations, and the role of media barons in US politics. Unlike Australia, US media owners don't even pretend to be at arms-length from politics -- they're direct players, direct lobbyists, and they make their personal political views well known through their networks and papers.

Having an Australian HQ hinders Murdoch's US outlets, by putting head office in the exact opposite timezone, and diluting the US focus of decision-making.

There is also a continuing groundswell of opposition to foreign companies operating in America -- Murdcoh's media outlets (eg Fox, the NY Post) prominently plaster the US flag on everything, but it rings a little hollow when the head office is overseas.

The take-home message? Murdoch's shift is no reflection on Australia, good or bad. I'm sure he didn't for a moment consider Australia's views on the matter, nor could he care less what his Australian media outlets say or do of a day. It's business, pure and simple

They'll stop attacking Latham as soon as he does what he's told.