Rupert Murdoch Turns 81: Looking Back On A Reputation-Shattering Year – Deadline.com
Business plans: The top item on Rupert’s agenda last year was his effort to buy the 61% stake he didn’t already own in BSkyB, the powerful UK satellite, broadband, and phone provider. Murdoch turned 80 just after the government gave him the all-clear to make that $12B deal. But he had to kiss the BSkyB acquisition goodbye when the scandal broke. Now, UK communications regulator Ofcom is questioning whether Murdoch’s even fit to hold his 39% of the stock, and whether James should remain BSkyB’s chairman.
It’s easy to forget another of Rupert’s pet projects: The Daily — a text, sound, and video magazine designed for iPads and other tablet computers that he had introduced in February. “We believe The Daily will be the model for how stories are told and consumed in this digital age,” Murdoch said. How’s it doing? The Daily says that it’s the top-grossing iPad app. But it’s widely believed that the publication is only attracting about a quarter of the 500,000 weekly readers that Rupert said he’d need to break even. Last month a reporter resigned and publicly objected to the sensational handling of a story about Iranian ninjas. The Daily reportedly responded with a threat to sue the reporter for violating a non-disparagement contract clause.