Can Rupert Murdoch save The Sun? – The Drum Opinion – It is hard to imagine a long-term future for News Corp in British papers. But if Rupert Murdoch wants to save The Sun he must get on the front foot. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

by peterjukes

And so it all began on November 17, 1969, when The Sun relaunched as a tabloid with a page one story headlined ‘Horse dope sensation’. The first page three girl appeared as a birthday special exactly one year later and the rest, as they say, is history.

Thanks to Murdoch’s sensationalist and “whatever it takes” approach to tabloid journalism, the British tabloids have literally generated many billions of free cash for News Corp over the past 40 years.

More than anything else, it was the British tabloids which financed key expansions over the years such as Twentieth Century Fox (1985), BSkyB (launched 1989) and the major American cable and television acquisitions in the 1990s.

The greatest single commercial triumph of Murdoch’s British papers came when he sacked 6,000 workers in 1986 and secretly moved his printing operation from Fleet Street to Wapping.

Murdoch’s long-serving deputy Peter Chernin once described the Wapping dispute as “the most significant labour event since the second world war”.

And it wouldn’t have happened if News Corp didn’t have the full backing of the Thatcher government, the law and the police. The complete reverse is the case now.

The sacked workers might have received a £60 million settlement in 1987, but smashing the British print unions generated huge efficiency gains which, when combined with their circulation leadership over competitors, saw the British tabloids generate almost $2 billion in free cash flow over the following five years. This helped save News Corp from bankruptcy during its 1990 debt crisis and gave them a special place in Murdoch family folklore.

via Can Rupert Murdoch save The Sun? – The Drum Opinion – It is hard to imagine a long-term future for News Corp in British papers. But if Rupert Murdoch wants to save The Sun he must get on the front foot. (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

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