Here’s Rupert Murdoch on the future of newspapers, or at least his current favourite, the Wall Street Journal. It is fun to see how little patience he has for the interviewers, and much, much more fun to see that he intends to retool quickly to produce a direct confrontation between the WSJ and the New York Times.
The parallels to Conrad Black buying the Financial Post on his way to a war with the Globe are striking. The scale is, given Murdoch’s vast resources an the difference between the Canadian and American markets, not far from 10:1. The net, which has evolved beyond recognition since the late 1990s, is a hugely complicating variable. And one presumes that, unlike the Canadian situation in 1998, the Times won’t respond by swiftly obliterating many characteristics of the paper it used to be.