This week’s upcoming Time magazine cover story is an “exclusive” interview with Rupert Murdoch. Eric Pooley, the former Fortune editor, conducted the interview, and dare we say it contains the best package of Rupe soundbytes we’ve heard since the Dow Jones saga began.
Highlights (and notice he’s already using “we” when referring to the Wall Street Journal):
“What if, at the Journal, we spent $100 million a year hiring all the best business journalists in the world? Say 200 of them. And spent some money on establishing the brand but go global … And then you make it free, online only. No printing plants, no paper, no trucks. How long would it take for the advertising to come? It would be successful, it would work and you’d make … a little bit of money.”
“They’re taking five billion dollars out of me and want to keep control … In an industry in crisis! They can’t sell their company and still control it-that’s not how it works. I’m sorry!” “When the Journal gets its Page 3 girls, we’ll make sure they have MBAs.” “My worry about the New York Times is that it’s got the only position as a national elitist general-interest paper. So the network news picks up its cues from the Times. And local papers do too. It has a huge influence. And we’d love to challenge it.” “CNN is pretty consistently on the left, if you look at their choice of stories, what they play up. It’s not what they say, it’s what they highlight … And if you look at [Fox News’] general news, do we put on things which favor the right rather than the left? I don’t know … We don’t think we do. We’ve always insisted we don’t. I don’t think we do. Aw, it’s subjective. Neither side admits it.”