MEDIA EXECUTIVE OF THE DECADE

Rupert Murdoch

MEDIA EXECUTIVE OF THE DECADE

News Corp. is a global juggernaut, encompassing film, broadcast and cable television, print and social media, and Rupert Murdoch got the whole enterprise rolling with a single daily newspaper based in Adelaide, Australia. Murdoch is the last of the great media moguls, and while he’s 78 years old, the entrepreneur may well be at the height of his powers. And he’s far more progressive than his critics imagine him to be. Certainly there’s no one in the media space who’s been more vocal about the role the Internet is playing in the disintegration of the newspaper business, and unlike most of the handwringers in the publishing space, Murdoch isn’t taking it laying down. “There are those who think they have a right to take our news content and use it for their own purposes without contributing a penny to its production,” Murdoch declared earlier this month in a symposium hosted by the Federal Trade Commission. “This wholesale misappropriation of our stories is not fair use … it is theft.” To that end, Murdoch has warned Google and other online aggregators that he’ll erect pay walls and block all search bots, making his content all but invisible to those who would access it without paying a fair price. Shortly after Murdoch fired that warning shot, Google acquiesced a bit, announcing it would limit free access to sites with premium content. A slight concession perhaps, but further evidence that Murdoch may be onto a scheme to restore the social contract that demands payment for skilled labor. If he succeeds, he’ll leave no greater legacy. —Anthony Crupi

MEDIA EXECUTIVE OF THE DECADE

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