We’d like to congratulate Lachlan Murdoch on his appointment as (acting) chief executive of the Ten TV network. We just hope he has the time to squeeze in all his busy media commitments.

Television: There’s the new day job at Ten, where he holds 9% and sits on the board, as well as his company’s 8.9% holding in regional TV broadcaster Prime.

Radio: He owns 50% of DMG, owner of the Nova radio network which operates in all metropolitan markets and reaches 53% of the Australian population.

Newspapers: He’s a director of News Corporation, Australia’s largest newspaper publisher, and an heir to a $1 billion-plus inheritance in the company.

Which means he won’t personally have time to turn his mind to the fact that under Australian law, no-one is allowed to simultaneously control metropolitan radio, television and newspaper assets. Or to exert excessive market power.

And whilst there are probably some people in the federal government, opposition or at regulators ACCC and ACMA who do have enough time to think about this question, they all know Rule 1a of Australian governance: you don’t get anywhere in Australian politics or government by trying to curb the powers of a Murdoch.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey