Thursday, February 4, 2010

In Avatar blockbuster, Murdoch's anti-NYT nuke

As The Wall Street Journal readies its nascent New York City news bureau to battle The New York Times, controlling shareholder Rupert Murdoch has another weapon at his disposal: Huge profits from Avatar, which is being distributed by the media mogul's Twentieth Century Fox division. In a new post today, blogger Ken Doctor smartly notes that News Corp. -- holding company for the WSJ, Fox and other media properties -- stands to earn $1.5 billion or more from sci-fi epic Avatar alone.

"That compares to the Times Co.'s total revenue of less than $2.5 billion in 2009," Doctor says, "and probably a small operating loss (the company reports its full 2009 on Feb. 10.)" He continues: "If you're Rupert Murdoch though, you just have to say, 'Take some of that blue people money and invest it in the Journal. Remember I said I wanted to kill the Times.' Maybe send them flying into the infinity of the flux vortex."

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