Murdoch says it would be nice to `kill the New York Times’

November 14th, 2007 - 2:34 am ICT by admin  
Murdoch has set out plans to move The Wall Street Journal, his latest acquisition, into the media mainstream with a strategy to halt its sliding commercial performance.

Murdoch wants to move the paper beyond its financial roots and target less specialised competitors such as The New York Times.

“We have a lot of plans and a lot of ideas that need to be refined,” he told a Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco on Thursday.

“I want to add major coverage of the arts, fashion and culture,” he said. When asked whether he was aiming to kill The New York Times, Murdoch was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald as saying : “That would be nice.”

The 76-year-old News Corp chief was speaking on the eve of News Corp’s annual meeting in New York, which was expected to be held early this morning Sydney time.

The challenge facing News Corp became clear on Thursday as Dow Jones revealed a fresh drop in advertising revenue at the Journal. In its flagship print edition in the US, income dropped 2.9 per cent in the third quarter. In volume terms, the fall was 13.6 per cent.

Dow Jones’s overall quarterly profits dropped by 87 per cent to 13.8 million dollars, affected by one-off tax benefits a year ago and by costs of 12.1 million dollars from stock options and advisory fees related to News Corp’s offer.

Yet Dow Jones’s chief executive, Rich Zannino, was defiant, insisting that underlying earnings were up. In a conference call in New York, he said: “We are not the wounded and malnourished media dinosaur many in the press have portrayed us to be.”

Dow Jones’s consumer media division, including the Journal, made an operating loss of 4.2 million dollars, a reduction from its 18 million dollar deficit a year ago.

Murdoch’s deal was agreed on only after a protracted tussle with the company’s controlling Bancroft family. (ANI)

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