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Media briefs

Mar 28, 2014

Media briefs: News on News ... offers they couldn't refuse ...

The Australian is outraged today that its rival, Fairfax, did not give Lachlan Murdoch's ascension the coverage it deserved. And News Corp is very against Godfather metaphors... or is it?

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Looking forward to working with old whatshisface. Yesterday the media world was abuzz with the news of Rupert Murdoch bringing son Lachlan back into the News Corp and 21st Century Fox fold. According to yesterday’s page 1 story in The Australian:

“Mr Murdoch Sr said he was thrilled his son was ‘returning to a leadership role at the company’, where he would work closely with his father, his brother James Murdoch, 21st Century Fox chief operating officer Chase Casey and the rest of the board.”

Would that be Chase Carey, Lachlan’s now co-chief operating officer at News Corp (parent company of, yes, The Australian)? We know subeditors are very busy and mistakes happen, but it’s not a good look to get your own boss’ name wrong on page 1. At least it was not Rupert himself who made the error — his ASX statement had the name correct. We don’t know what penance the poor Oz journos will have to do, but we’re thinking perhaps more animal pictures for Rupert’s vanity paper. — Cassidy Knowlton

Oz to Fairfax: the importance of News Corp. Funnily enough, one of Australia’s media duopoly gave coverage of Lachlan Murdoch’s movements much more prominent coverage than the other. And in today’s Australian editorial, the News Corp broadsheet is fuming at rival Fairfax’s refusal to beatify the better-looking of Rupert’s sons. The appointment was “a powerful vote of confidence in the future of strong new brands across all platforms”, according to the fawning first half of the editorial. And yet Fairfax missed it! The most important nepotistic movement within a dynastic media empire in years, and Fairfax was too busy with other news — and its “arcane” deadlines — to cover it:

“It contrasts strongly with the defeatism of Fairfax Media, which missed the story in its flagship paper The Sydney Morning Herald because the 7pm announcement was too late for its arcane sunset deadlines. That failure was exacerbated by an error in the initial report on the SMH website … In contrast to our rival’s decline, the future is bright for News Corp and its winning brands.”

We’re beginning to wonder if the sycophantic editorial was Lachlan-ordered penance for the Carey/Casey mistake the day before. And just so you know, Fairfax, News Corp does not like your rude, childish tactics:

“Sadly, for Fairfax’s print and digital readers, its puerile efforts in comparing Mr Murdoch to Godfather gangster Michael Corleone are indicative of its journalistic infantilism, malign intent and business malaise.”

What a disgrace. Infantilism and malign intent indeed (the Oz is referring to an article by estimable Fairfax journo James Thomson, who said Lachlan had been given an offer he couldn’t refuse). News Corp would never — oh wait, hang on … — Cassidy Knowlton

Front page of the day. Today’s Courier-Mail, stablemate of The Australian and also owned by News Corp. You couldn’t make this stuff up …

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