Monday, March 1, 2010

Animus vs. arrogance, Part 2: Murdoch's envy

We knew that News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch wants to compete hard against The New York Times with his prized Wall Street Journal.

But I didn't realize how fully it stems from a status-driven hatred for the paper and its owners. That battle is presented as the downmarket Australian press baron vs. the imperious, white shoe Sulzberger clan, according to today's New York magazine cover story about Murdoch. The graph that sealed it for me:

"Building the Journal into a general-interest newspaper to take on the Times is a crusade. Arthur Sulzberger himself is, for Murdoch, a symbol of the Times hypocrisy, its smugness, and its shortcomings. Murdoch’s hatred of the Times is a product of his long-standing class antagonisms rooted in his early days as an Australian building an empire in London. But on a more fundamental level, he believes Sulzberger is a poor businessman who has mismanaged his company’s fortunes and deserves to lose."

What's the over/under on whether the Sulzbergers will still control the Times Co. a year from now? Please post your replies in the comments section, below. To e-mail confidentially, write jimhopkins[at]gmail[dot-com]; see Tipsters Anonymous Policy in the rail, upper right.

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