04 November 2007

The New Global Media

"Whereas previously media systems were primarily national, in the past few years a global commercial-media market has emerged. "What you are seeing," says Christopher Dixon, media analyst for the investment firm PaineWebber, "is the creation of a global oligopoly. It happened to the oil and automotive industries earlier this century; now it is happening to the entertainment industry."

Together, the deregulation of media ownership, the privatization of television in lucrative European and Asian markets, and new communications technologies have made it possible for media giants to establish powerful distribution and production networks within and among nations. In short order, the global media market has come to be dominated by the same eight transnational corporations, or TNCs, that rule US media: General Electric, AT&T/Liberty Media, Disney, Time Warner, Sony, News Corporation, Viacom and Seagram, plus Bertelsmann, the Germany-based conglomerate."

Murdoch sees Journal as hub for empire
When Google swallowed YouTube, the video-sharing Web site, last year, the media and Web worlds were agog at YouTube's valuation, given that it was not yet two years old and barely made any money. Of course, that is very different from Dow Jones, a relatively ancient enterprise that has nearly $2 billion in revenue.

But here, fellow brainiacs, are three remarkable similarities between the gambits by Google and Murdoch - similarities that show why both deals make sense to them alone."

Murdoch on owning the Wall Street Journal
"Murdoch offered $5 billion to buy The Journal's parent company, Dow Jones & Company. To do that, he must first win over the Bancroft family, which has controlled Dow Jones for the last 92 years and has so far resisted all of his overtures, in part over concerns of what he might do to The Journal."

Murdoch strays into Georgian politics
"News Corp, the global media empire headed by Rupert Murdoch, usually does its political homework before investing in a new market. But its recent intervention in Georgia, the former Soviet republic caught in the crossfire between a resurgent Russia and the west, looks like getting the group involved in a Caucasian hornets' nest.

His televised intervention came on the eve of an international conference in Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, attended by leading supporters of his pro-western government such as Carl Bildt, Sweden's foreign minister..."

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