Talk about being dictatorial. The Triangle deal was a major factor in News Corp almost going broke in 1990-91 and Rupert’s fellow directors weren’t even told about it. At least Rupert owned a majority of the shares back then. These days he’s down to just 11% (including non-voting stock), yet he still runs the place as if it’s his private company, with the notorious poison pill being Exhibit A.

The infamous Murdoch discipline seems to be coming apart at the seams. D’Arcy’s book is the first time a former News Corporation director has come out seriously swinging in public, although he was fired by Rupert almost 16 years ago.

Combine that with Lachlan Murdoch’s 9000-word dump on his dad through New York magazine and the culture being exposed in the Federal Court, where helping the Murdoch family interest seems to be the number one requirement of News Corp executives, and a pretty stark picture is being painted of the Sun King.

If John Malone wanted to move on Rupert, now is the time to strike on the vulnerable old man, but it remains to be seen if he has the stomach to take on his closest media mate of the past decade.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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