Friday, August 21, 2009

Tough News For Rupert Murdoch -- and implications for the sector

While some people are pointing to the smallest bit of positive news, the bad news for the newspaper industry continues.

Here's a quick round-up:
  • The Tribune Co. is likely to be owned by its lenders, instead of real estate magnate Sam Zell, who bought the company two years ago. This potentially good news, but likely means more changes for the Chicago Tribune, LA Times and other media properties the company owns, including the possible sale e of those properties.
  • Philadelphia Newspapers LLC, which owns the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia News, has filed plan to sell itself to a new group of local investors. This move, too, signals more changes for the two papers.
Ok, now for the tough news for Rupert Murdoch. He's taken a 40% pay cut for 2009, and saw his bonus drop 69%. If the smart folks at News Corp. thought the turn-around was here or near, I don't think they would have cut Rupe's compensation so drastically.

Of course, his take-home compensation was still $18 million, so need to hold a fundraiser for him. But last year, he took home $30.1 million. Even for the super-rich, that's a big difference.

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