We must fashion a new media landscape | Norman Fowler | Comment is free | The Guardian
As far as the Times and Sunday Times were concerned he was hands off. He was prevented by the terms that the government had laid down in the 1981 takeover from taking any part in the policymaking of the two newspapers. He claimed (although obviously this can be challenged) that those were the rules he had followed ever since.
When it came to the Sun and the News of the World, however, he was brutally frank. He made no secret of his power. He was the “traditional proprietor” exercising editorial control on major issues such as which party to back in a general election or policy on Europe.
Since then of course the News of the World has died and the Sun on Sunday will rise in a few days to take its place. But Murdoch remains the traditional proprietor. From his New York headquarters he will continue to have his say in the politics of the United Kingdom – and make no mistake, there will be politicians who will play along with this.