WSJ.com has posted edited excerpts from a 90-minute June 1 Rupert Murdoch interview that was the basis for its lengthy June 5 front-page article. Some of the highlights:
New publisher? Asked about The Guardian’s report that Robert Thomson would be brought in to a News Corp.-owned WSJ as publisher, Murdoch replied: ” No. I haven’t thought about it. New idea to me. All I’ve heard about [Wall Street Journal Publisher] Gordon Crovitz is that he’s this brilliant man.” Asked again about hiring Thomson, he continued: “I’ve never thought about it. And I would imagine that Gordon Crovitz would stay there, I don’t know. I understand that they’ve all been given golden parachutes or something. Or change-of-control bonuses of several millions. But I don’t know what it adds up to.” Crovitz is EVP-DJ and president of Dow Jones Consumer Media in addition to being publisher of the Journal franchise.
Retaining staff: “What would you do to retain the team?” Murdoch joked about huge raises and said he would try to build up what is already there. “That’s also got to go on the business side because they’ve got to get some more advertising. I mean the profit of The Journal is very small if you look at the reports. Those silly little Ottaway papers make more than the Journal does.”
Investing: “I imagine whatever we do would take the profit down in the short term