Friday, October 29, 2010

Locking up a Murdoch

Catherine Overington of the Media Diary on Rupert Murdoch's personal favourite publication, The Australian newspaper reports on a  happening today at the Surry Hills News Ltd headquarters :

A rather cute thing just happened in the foyer ...
A dapper young man approached the glass security doors. He was already inside; and wanted to get out.
He didn’t have one of those electronic passes you need, to make the doors open.

He motioned to one of News Ltd’s famously happy and extremely strict security guards, saying: ``I’m sorry, I want to get out. I don’t have a pass.’’
To which the security guard said: ``Well, how did you get in?’’
To which the dapper young man replied: ``I came in with my Dad?’’
It was, of course, James Murdoch.

Rupert Murdoch is in town and the word from the Surry Hill's bunker is that fear and loathing are spreading as sackings are expected. There is one rumour sweeping the building that the much feared New York Post editor Col Allan is to return and take the helm.

In fact rumours are sweeping ahead of him wherever he goes. He visited both PM Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in Canberra a few days ago over talks about new media laws that are predicted to give free-to-air TV stations much more sport's content. Rupert only owns shares in the cable TV network Foxtel under laws that prevent owners having both newspaper and broadcast coverage in any one city. News Corp publishes the main dailies of every state capital except for the Fairfax's Canberra Times.

One person Murdoch won't be visiting is Bruce Guthrie who has just published his book Man Bites Murdoch about his 40 years in publishing.

Amongst a host of newspapers and magazines Guthrie edited was Murdoch's top Victorian tabloid  the Herald Sun before he had a spectacular fallout with his boss.

2 weeks ago Guthrie was spotted meeting with Julia Gillard in Melbourne. Priming her for her first meeting with Murdoch or a mere co-incidence ?

Also in town and spotted at this week's christening of Sarah & Lachlan Murdoch's baby Aerin Elisabeth Murdoch-Rupert's ex-wife Anna Murdoch Mann and her husband William Mann. Anna attended the christening with her brother Hans Torv, the Gold Coast disc jockey and radio station owner.