'You Old Fox': Magazine Grudgingly Notes Murdoch's News Corp. Value Is 'Soaring'

The latest cover of Bloomberg Businessweek promotes this theme: "You Old Fox: How Rupert Murdoch Survived -- And Profited From -- News Corp.'s Brush With Death." Felix Gillette's cover story is titled "The Escape Artist."

Gillette reported that Murdoch was "supposed to be finished," but  today, "he survives at the helm of a global entertainment and publishing company that, far from being diminished, has soared in value," much to the dismay of the Left:

The day before Murdoch appeared in Parliament, the stock closed at $14.96 a share. On April 12 it closed at $31.54. The company is now valued at $73 billion. Revenue and earnings are up. The company has $3.3 billion in cash. Since July 19, 2011, the Murdoch family’s 38 percent stake of News Corp. Class B voting shares has grown in value from $5.1 billion to $9.5 billion.

Given his track record, it should come as no surprise that Murdoch has slipped away. “Time and again when his plans have gone awry and he has found himself facing calamity, his superb survival skills have saved him,” the Australian journalist Neil Chenoweth wrote in a biography of Murdoch published in 2002. “Just before he hits the wall … he feints this way and that, and then he sets off with undiminished speed in a new direction. This is Murdoch’s genius: not that he gets into a jam, but that he is able to walk away afterward, an implausible winner.”

Murdoch's move to separate the dicier newspaper business from the TV and movie entities left investors "overjoyed," and News Corp. aggressively policed itself on the U.K. scandals by creating something called the Management and Standards Committee to help the police make arrests, and making legal settlements with victims whose privacy was invaded.

Gillette also drew attention to how the red-hot liberal desire for an American version of the phone-hacking scandal has failed to materialize:

Yet despite much speculation about when and how the crisis would eventually cross the Atlantic, it never did. Nearly seven years after the first phone-hacking arrest in the U.K., no American phone-hacking victims have emerged.

In the spring of 2012, Mark Lewis, the attorney who represents a large number of phone-hacking victims in the U.K., made a visit to New York. At the time, Lewis confirmed to the New York Times that he was planning to take legal action in the U.S. against News Corp. on behalf of three clients. Lewis declined to name the alleged victims, who were described in the Times as a “well-known sports person,” a “sports person not in the public eye,” and an “American citizen.” To pursue the civil suits on U.S. soil, Lewis said he was teaming up with Norman Siegel, the former director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

One year later, no suits have been filed. Reached in mid-April at his New York offices, Siegel says he and Lewis are still looking into potential claims. He declined to offer a specific timetable for when they might file suit in the U.S. “Our research is still going on,” he says.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis