In all the navel-gazing last week about the Murdoch sons’ movements, something was missing: News Corp and 21st Century Fox shares are declining. Plus other media tidbits of the day.
News and Fox shares going backwards. The poor first-quarter performance of News Corp and 21st Century Fox shares was missing from all the navel-gazing last week after the promotions of Lachlan and James Murdoch at News and its offshoot, 21st Century Fox. Lachlan was made non executive co-chair of both companies, and James was made co-chief operating officer with Chase Carey. Big news.
But after the sharp rises in the share prices of both companies in the second half of 2013 following the split on June 28, the shares have gone backwards in 2014, with Fox one of the five worst-performing companies on the S&P 500 with a market value of $US50 billion or more. According to the News-owned US website Marketwatch, Fox shares have fallen more than 10% since the start of the year. News shares lost 7.5% since the start of the year. The S&P 500 is up half a per cent for the year so far, so the performance of News and Fox have been less than stellar. With a fall of more than 10%, Fox shares are now in a correction phase as the costs of building a huge pay TV sports network in the US, plus weak film and TV ratings and revenues, weigh.
News shares peaked last month after Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull opened his mouth about possible media law changes. Shares peaked at $US18.40 earlier this month, and have tumbled to Friday’s close of $US16.58. Some US analysts are wondering whether James Murdoch will share the honours at the third-quarter results briefing with Carey in early May. And will Lachlan pop up there (and at the News Corp briefing) so investors can question him about what he wants from both family companies? — Glenn Dyer
For shame, Nicolas Rothwell. Nicolas Rothwell’s claims in The Weekend Australian that the forthcoming Ngintaka Exhibition at the South Australian Museum will reveal secret sacred information is simply not true. The Ngintaka Exhibition is a collection of paintings, carvings, ceramic pieces, photographs and films that illustrate the Ngintaka songline story as traditionally told to children round the fire. This version of the story has been used by Anangu to document their artworks in gallery exhibitions since 1974. The story and song have been taught at the Angatja in the Mann Ranges to tourists and schoolchildren since 1988 and is still taught today. The Angatja experience is championed as a flagship of reconciliation by Catholic schools, which include the trip in their Leadership for Reconciliation program.
The senior men from Amata, Hector Burton, Willy Kaika Burton and Mick Wikilyirri that Rothwell quotes as being in “bitter opposition” to the Songlines Project all attended several consultation meetings with the project partners and not once raised the issues or opposition Rothwell refers to. The most recent of these was a meeting on March 6 called by senior Ngintaka traditional owners Robert Stevens and David Miller to listen to any issues Amata community had regarding the Ngintaka exhibition. None of the issues Rothwell refers to were raised at the meeting, and there was no explicit or implicit request from these senior men to close the exhibition. — Bob Gosford (more at The Northern Myth)
Dis-honours. Tony Abbott’s finding few friends for imperial honours. Former prime minister (and likely candidate for knighthood) John Howard is against the scheme, and the Murdoch tabloids had fun mocking the new honours. Now it turns out former Howard government minister Amanda Vanstone, who is sometimes quite the cheerleader for the Coalition government, is no fan either. And the acid test: even blogger Andrew Bolt seems lukewarm about the move. “Not a helpful comment on a move not necessarily helpful, either,” is how he described John Howard coming out to criticise the reimposition of knighthoods. It’s certainly hard out there for a knight-to-be, not to mention Tony Abbott …
A Tele Photoshop nightmare. We are normally great fans of The Daily Telegraph’s weird photoshopping efforts, but today may have been a bridge too far. The digital wizards have reimagined Joe Hockey as Freddy Krueger, but with all the weirdness on the skin, we couldn’t have ID-ed Hockey without the help of the caption (helpfully telling us it’s a “digitally altered image”). Judge for yourself …
Video of the day. In response to Friday’s story on the high rate of colorectal cancer, which kills more Australians than breast or prostate cancer but gets swept under the carpet, a reader has sent us this fantastic musical tribute to colorectal surgeons. Enjoy!