Rupert Murdoch’s Influence: Is It Being Felt At The Times?

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We never quite understood how it was that Rupert Murdoch was supposed to ruin the Wall Street Journal. Or why he would risk throwing away the credibility of a newspaper for which he just paid $5 billion. A look at the capital spending of News Corp actually points in the opposite direction. Against conventional wisdom—and in the face of much analyst carping—News Corp has been lavishing spending on slow and slowing news outlets. Capital expenditures in the newspaper division have doubled since 2004—and that’s not counting the Dow Jones purchase. This isn’t a company or a chief executive who is out to destroy newspapers.
Or, at least, not newspapers he owns. There’s been some speculation that the hiring of chief neoconservative Bill Kristol by the New York Times—a move that has left many liberal readers howling with outrage—may be a move to ward off a more muscular Wall Street Journal, where the editorial page has long been a stronghold of the right. So could Rupert Murdoch’s perceived conservative politics actually be influencing not the paper he owns but its competitor?
If that’s the case, there are some who think that the strategy might backfire. Some Times readers don’t exactly love encountering “columns written by those with whom they disagree,” according to Steve Boriss. He goes on to explain that the liberal backlash against the Times could outweigh the growth in conservative readership.
“But for Times readers who can easily avoid daily exposure to conservative views, Bill Kristol will not only seem wrong, but also selfish, mean-spirited, and morally deficient,” Boriss writes.
How pissed off are the liberals over Kristol? Very. Over at City Journal, Harry Stein surveys some of the reactions. He quotes from one Huffington Poster who says: “I will never, ever, buy another issue of the newspaper, I will never again be a subscriber to your newspaper and I will do my level best to avoid any purchases from any NY Times advertiser.”

Murdoch gives the NY Times a Trojan Horse for Christmas: Bill Kristol’s new weekly column
[Steve Boriss]

No Conservatives, Dammit!!
[City Journal]

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