As told to Sophie Vorrath:


20 May: The press has got hold of my plans to buy a stake in
Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal’s media outfit
Rotana
– the Mideast’s dominant media force, with six TV
channels, the region’s most powerful music label and a film production arm that
already accounts for 50% of all Arab film output. But as Bin Talal told Variety, “The important thing is
that Rotana is in discussions with the most important global media company”.
It’s just a pity cinemas are banned in Saudi
Arabia.


05 June:
Red Letter Day – Our shares hit new 52-week highs
on the NYSE today – $US20.57 for the voting stock. Some
Citigroup analyst said he thought an IPO of Sky Italia was likely next year, to
help unlock unrealised value. Hmmmm.


06 June:
Who says I haven’t got my finger on the pulse? My quality UK daily, The Times will
be launching an internet television
service this week – “Times TV” – with video news clips and readers contributions. And if that doesn’t boost our online audience, I
don’t know what will. We’re also launching the paper’s US
edition, worth $1 across New York
and New Jersey. Tally ho!


07 June:
Still trying to decide what to do with that strategic
bit of undeveloped Boston land
I
got two months ago in a trade with Frank H McCourt Jr – he got the LA Dodgers. Hopefully
that Cushman & Wakefield bunch will help us – how did they put it? – “begin
the planning stage to look for recapitalisation or a codeveloper”.

08 June: Some cockney singer by the name of Billy Bragg has had the gall to accuse ME of exploiting musicians on MySpace. The silly man has
removed his music from the site saying it’s because I effectively “own” any work
which is posted on it, taking rights away from the artist. Must’ve been bamboozled
by the “confusing legalese”.


09 June:
Tough work this Chinese media business – have
decided to sell a 20% stake in our STAR
Group
broadcaster to the parent of China Mobile Ltd. Perhaps they can provide us
with an alternative platform for delivering content. Who says I don’t try new
things.


13 June:
Things are looking good for us to get that 18%
voting stake back from Malone
– he won’t be able to resist if the Federal
Communications Commission comes good and I can offer Liberty a few of my 35 US
television stations, tax free.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW