We’re at the We Media conference in Miami where new media innovators are gathering to talk about the next big thing. After the Game Changer awards were given out, Fast Company founder Alan Webber sat down for a chat with author, media critic and Newser founder Michael Wolff. The session began with Wolff’s take on some of the biggest names in media today, pulling no punches in the process:
Rupert Murdoch: I think Rupert has gone off the reservation. I think he’s raging against the darkness. All of the Murdoch kids are really smart, really talented and they really wish their father would go home.
Tina Brown: For so long I have been Tina’s nemesis. It’s hard not to walk away from a joke at Tina’s expense. But I’ve turned a new leaf. I think she’s doing a really good job at The Daily Beast. And she’s spending a Tina-ish amount of cash.
Arianna Huffington: I’ve never seen anybody work as hard as this person. Every minute of every day she is on the job.
The Sulzbergers: Just the stupidest people who have ever walked the earth. They are not just hopeless, but hapless. The people who run [The New York Times Company] are ill-equipped to do it.
The Grahams: Donny Graham is the nicest guy in this business. Certainly among the more intelligent people and I’m tempted to say ‘give The Washington Post a chance.’
Then Webber asked about Zucker — bergs and mans. “More Zuckers than we can count. Then there’s Jeff Zucker,” said Wolff. Webber shot back, “That’s another disaster.” About the Facebook founder and the New York Daily News owner, Wolff adds:
Mark Zuckerberg: I think he has decided he wants to be in that pantheon that includes [Bill] Gates and [Steve] Jobs.
Mort Zuckerman: He’s not a bad business partner, and he’s always there when you need him.
As for the age old question about paying for content, Wolff says don’t count on it. “[Consumers] will not pay for general interest news, because they never have. Never, never, never have they paid. And never will they pay.”
As for the financial health of his own 2+ year old site, Wolff says Newser.com is, “on the threshold of break even. We can probably get to break even the next couple of months if we cut our costs more.”
Michael Wolff after his appearance at the We Media conference, as organizers prepared for the next session, a live broadcast of the BBC program “World Have Your Say.”