Media Unmade - Chapter 11: Blood, Sweat and Tears; and The Unmade Index slides again
In which Rupert Murdoch splits the company in two, boss Kim Williams loses the civil war, Lachlan Murdoch comes home, and the company's dire finances are revealed
Welcome to the latest edition of the Unmade podcast. Today’s edition features another free extract from the audio edition of my book, Media Unmade, which is published by Hardie Grant and available online and in book stores.
One of the things I was fascinated to learn in researching Media Unmade was the atmosphere in Kim Williams’ big office in News Corp’s Holt Street headquarters the day he told his team he was leaving. He may have earned the opposition of the company’s editors, but his inner circle were true believers. Until I wrote the book, I don’t think it was in the public domain that Williams had wept when he told his team the news. On as an emotional and tiring day as that, there’s no shame there.
Even now, I can’t make up my mind whether the company would be in a stronger position if Williams had been able to see through his restructuring, or whether his challenge to state-based autonomy would have wiped out local advertising in the long term.
This chapter also covers the 2013 stock split that saw News Ltd become News Corp Australia, and the creation of 21st Century Fox. As I wrote in Unmade yesterday, the split, which was lucrative for shareholders, was an example of Rupert Murdoch’s deal making genius.
It was a busy time for News Corp. Michael Miller left. Lachlan Murdoch returned. Miller came back.
Then there were the shenanigans after the NRL left Foxtel out in the cold. When News Corp goes to war with someone it really goes to war with someone.
Unmade Index - down again
The second day of the Unmade Index saw Australia’s media and marketing stocks take another battering.
Yesterday saw another 2.3% wiped off the value of the ASX-listed media and marketing companies.
HT&E was the only company to improve its share price, while real estate platform Domain Group slumped 6.5% as speculation grows of a slowdown in the property market. Ooh Media’s market capitalisation fell below $1bn, while Southern Cross Austereo is now trading close to its lowest point in a year.
Today’s audio chapter of Media Unmade is free to all subscribers. Some future chapters will only be available only to paying subscribers to Unmade. The paid tier is available from $65 per month.
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Audio production on Media Unmade comes courtesy of Abe’s Audio, the people to talk to about voiceovers and sound design for corporate videos, digital content, commercials and podcasts.
As ever, I welcome your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or via the ugly brown comment button below.
Time to let you go about your Friday. Have a great day.
Proprietor - Unmade