The Wall Street Journal sports section’s lame debut this morning got us wondering: Has News Corp. chairman and legendary newspaperman Rupert Murdoch lost his touch?
A bunch of recent failures seem to suggest yes.
- Page Six Magazine – Launched in fall 2007, the mag went from weekly to quarterly this January.
- WSJ Magazine – Wall Street died last September, but that didn’t stop Rupe and Dow Jones from launching luxury title WSJ magazine. It should’ve. The mag was supposed to go monthly in 2009, but now it won’t.
- PageSix.com – Celebrity gossip rag TMZ keeps winning for AOL, but PageSix.com came and went in just three months.
- Dow Jones – News Corp acquired Dow Jones for $5.7 billion in 2007, but this February it wrote down a $2.8 billion loss on the Wall Street Journal’s parent-company. Then came the newsroom layoffs.
- New York Post – Some wonder if Rupert’s obsession with newspapers drove the talented COO Peter Chernin from company. It’s possible. The Post reportedly loses $40 million a year and faced a backlash from readers after its chimp cartoon controversy.
Maybe the tried-and-true Murdoch print formula that worked so well for Rupe in the U.K. and earlier in the decade at the Post is getting dented at the intersection of the web and the financial crisis.
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