Mar 28, 2014

A fleeting introduction, a whole world of coverage: Lachlan’s first day

Many of the journalists at News Corp's Holt Street bunker barely saw Lachlan Murdoch yesterday. If you really want to know what's going on, you'd best go outside the organisation.

Myriam Robin — Media Reporter

Myriam Robin

Media Reporter

"One of the best strategic thinkers I've known ... His knowledge of our business and the entire media landscape is invaluable. His energy levels are inspirational. This is wonderful news for all of us at News Corp around the nation."
With these words, News Corp Australia chief executive Julian Clarke appraised his new boss, Lachlan Murdoch, who co-chairs the company at the unlikely age of 42. Strictly speaking, the eldest son of Rupert Murdoch is a non-executive chairman. In most companies, that would mean he would be a touch removed from day-to-day operations, concerned with governance and strategy rather than the hub and buzz of the newsroom. But News Corp is not a usual company. If today's coverage in The Australian is anything to go on, he's going to be based at Holt Street (presumably on Level 5, where all the executive offices are). Lachlan reportedly spent his first day walking around and greeting journalists in the newsroom, which the paper's media writer Darren Davidson documented was "noted by journalists and warmly welcomed" ...

From what Crikey can make out, this walkabout wasn't a huge event. The Holt St journalists called this morning generally didn't know much more about Lachlan's first day than what they read in the paper. There was no fanfare -- Murdoch just walked through, according to a newsroom bee, adding that it looked like Lachlan was on his way somewhere rather than doing a grand tour. Another journalist, who was admittedly in and out of the office all day, said he didn't see Murdoch and hadn't hear much about the tour until he read this morning's paper. Perhaps this isn't surprising; it's a big building with a lot of floors. But even at the Oz, where you'd imagine Lachlan would make the biggest point of stopping and meeting people, his visit was, we were told, fleeting. Still, one veteran reporter told us that while Lachlan was no doubt busy on his first day, he was by all accounts "a really nice guy", the kind who holds doors open for people laden down with folders and the like. "He's really quite personable," Crikey was told. In today's paper, Lachlan Murdoch wasn't painted so much as a nice guy but as a visionary ...

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