News Cycle

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Archive for the ‘Rupert Murdoch’ Category

Murdoch Will Start Charging for All His News Websites Next Year

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News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch said today that News Corp. plans to charge reader fees for all its news websites in 2010, writes Shira Ovide of the Wall Street Journal.

News Corp. executives offered few details of how they will implement the new business plans, the report said.

News Corp. reported a loss for its latest quarter, dragged down by charges related to MySpace and other assets and by a steep decline in its television and newspaper businesses.

The company took $680 million in charges, in part to write down the value of the unit that includes MySpace. It bought MySpace’s parent company four years ago for $650 million, but the social-networking site has struggled to generate consistent profits, and its advertising revenue declined again.

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August 5, 2009 at 8:10 pm

Olbermann Apologizes for Mistake on Murdoch Quote

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Keith Olbermann issued an apology yesterday for using a transcript that incorrectly quoted Rupert Murdoch as saying, “Even on [finance] terms, we have never been a company that tolerates facts” on a conference call to investors of News Corp., owners of FOX News. Murdoch had actually said, “Even in plush times, we have never been a company that tolerates fat.”

Here was Olbermann’s on-air statement:

Incidentally, a correction on Murdoch. We have quoted several times the transcript of a News Corp conference call provided by the usually reliable financial website called SeakingAlpha.com, in which the News Corp boss was quoted as saying, “we have never been a company that tolerates facts.” It turns out SeekingAlpha.com got it wrong. Murdoch, in fact, said “we have never been a company that tolerates fat.” SeekingAlpha.com has yet to correct or apologize for its mistake, so we will. Henceforth, we will stick exclusively to the transcripts from ShiverMeTimbers.com.

Well, a bit snarky, but a correction no less.

Seekingalpha.com has corrected the transcript, currently quoting Murdoch as saying:

While it’s impossible to be completely prepared for a downturn of this magnitude, we began priming ourselves for a weakening economy earlier last year. We have implemented strict cost cutting measures across all our operations.

We have reduced headcount in individual businesses where appropriate and we’ve scaled back on capital expenditures. Even in plush times, we have never been a company that tolerates fat. So in times like these, we are better positioned to weather this cycle than our competitors.

We’ve also consistently maintained a strong balance sheet, which today following our completion of the partial sale of NDS posts approximately $4.5 billion in cash. Given our strong financial position, we have the reserves on hand to cover over seven years of upcoming debt repayments. And we intend to operate our businesses and balance sheet as conservative as usual.

I made the same mistake that Olbermann did when I wrote the first post on the matter, and I corrected it on the second post.

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February 13, 2009 at 12:15 am

Olbermann Apologizes for Mistake on Murdoch Quote

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Keith Olbermann issued an apology yesterday for using a transcript that incorrectly quoted Rupert Murdoch as saying, “Even on [finance] terms, we have never been a company that tolerates facts” on a conference call to investors of News Corp., owners of FOX News. Murdoch had actually said, “Even in plush times, we have never been a company that tolerates fat.”

Here was Olbermann’s on-air statement:

Incidentally, a correction on Murdoch. We have quoted several times the transcript of a News Corp conference call provided by the usually reliable financial website called SeakingAlpha.com, in which the News Corp boss was quoted as saying, “we have never been a company that tolerates facts.” It turns out SeekingAlpha.com got it wrong. Murdoch, in fact, said “we have never been a company that tolerates fat.” SeekingAlpha.com has yet to correct or apologize for its mistake, so we will. Henceforth, we will stick exclusively to the transcripts from ShiverMeTimbers.com.

Well, a bit snarky, but a correction no less.

Seekingalpha.com has corrected the transcript, currently quoting Murdoch as saying:

While it’s impossible to be completely prepared for a downturn of this magnitude, we began priming ourselves for a weakening economy earlier last year. We have implemented strict cost cutting measures across all our operations.

We have reduced headcount in individual businesses where appropriate and we’ve scaled back on capital expenditures. Even in plush times, we have never been a company that tolerates fat. So in times like these, we are better positioned to weather this cycle than our competitors.

We’ve also consistently maintained a strong balance sheet, which today following our completion of the partial sale of NDS posts approximately $4.5 billion in cash. Given our strong financial position, we have the reserves on hand to cover over seven years of upcoming debt repayments. And we intend to operate our businesses and balance sheet as conservative as usual.

I made the same mistake that Olbermann did when I wrote my first post on the matter, and I corrected it on the second post.

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February 12, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Audio Shows Murdoch Said Fat, Not Facts, as Alleged by Olbermann

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UPDATE, Feb. 12 (10:10 p.m. Eastern:) Keith Olbermann issued an on-air apology for mistakenly using the bad quote from the botched transcript.

As it turns out, Rupert Murdoch did indeed say “fat” not “facts” as alleged by Keith Olbermann and the Daily Kos.

Here is what he said, according to the audio. The disputed quote starts at the 17:57 mark:

While it’s impossible to be completely prepared for a downturn of this magnitude, we began priming ourselves for a weakening economy earlier last year. We implemented strict cost cutting measures across all our operations. We reduced head count in individual businesses where appropriate and we scaled back on capital expenditures.

Even in plush times, we have never been a company that tolerates fat. So in times like these, we are better positioned to weather this cycle than our competitors. We also have consistently maintained a strong balance sheet, which today following our completion of the partial sale of NDS for approximately $4.5 billion in cash. Given our strong financial position, we have the reserves on hand to cover over seven years of upcoming debt repayments. And we intend to operate our businesses and balance sheet as conservative as usual.

As I noted in my earlier post, it was either a slip of the tongue or a poor job of transcription. It appears to be the latter because the first part of the sentence was completely botched as well.

So, Olbermann Watch did indeed get it right, and Keith Olbermann and the Daily Kos, both who have advanced this story, got it wrong. By the way, here’s Olbermann’s rant on Murdoch, which he comments on his version of the quote around the 3:00 mark.

So, my apologies to the Olbermann Watch and its readers, and my thanks to them for unearthing the audio.

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February 8, 2009 at 12:14 pm

Fat or Facts? What Murdoch Said and How Olbermann Watch Got It Wrong

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UPDATE, Feb. 8, 2009, 11:30 a.m. Eastern. Readers at the Olbermann Watch have posted a link to the audio, which clearly shows that Rupert Murdoch said “fat”, not “facts” as alleged by Keith Olbermann and the Daily Kos. My follow up is here. My apologies to Olbermann Watch and their readers, and my thanks to them for finding the audio.

Keith Olbermann’s an easy target sometimes. Given his far-left beliefs and how he uses his cable show to advance his agenda, he’s a lightning rod for the right. But last night the right-wing blogs were all in a rage over his contention that Rupert Murdoch, chief executive officer of News Corp., which owns FOX News, had said, “Even on [finance] terms, we have never been a company that tolerates facts. So in times like these, we are better positioned to weather this cycle than our competitors” during a recent earnings call.

Olbermann Watch led the charge yesterday, writing that Murdoch was misquoted and actually said: “We have never been a company that tolerates fat.”

Here is the News Crop. earnings call transcript:

While it’s impossible to be completely prepared for a downturn of this magnitude, we began priming ourselves for a weakening economy earlier last year. We implemented strict cost cutting measures across all our operations. We reduced head count in individual businesses where appropriate and we scaled back on capital expenditures.

Even on [finance] terms, we have never been a company that tolerates facts. So in times like these, we are better positioned to weather this cycle than our competitors. We also have consistently maintained a strong balance sheet, which today following our completion of the partial sale of NDS for approximately $4.5 billion in cash. Given our strong financial position, we have the reserves on hand to cover over seven years of upcoming debt repayments. And we intend to operate our businesses and balance sheet as conservative as usual.

Clearly he either misspoke or the transcriptionist screwed up. Taken literally, on any level, the quote would make no sense. Obviously it’s a honest mistake, much like, say, forgetting to pay your taxes. But until I hear audio of the call, I would have to say Olbermann seems to have gotten this one right.

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February 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm

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