Rupert Murdoch pimps the news (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)
Well it’s all over. News Corp (Nasdaq:NWSA) had its annual meeting and nothing really changes. Rupert Murdoch insisted shareholders did not want to change executive pay scheme, dual share structure.
That’s because he voted his shares and held the day. Other shareholders voted against but could not overcome the natural advantages that Rupert Murdoch has built for himself.
So investors you have a few choices. Suck it up and hope Murdoch is smart and drives shareholder wealth. Just like investing in a fund of some sort.
You can become disgusted and sell out and just ignore the stock. Which might be the easiest option.
Or you can fight like hell. Spend huge legal bills without near term prospects of profits. This quite frankly is the best long-term gambit. Rupert Murdoch will not stay in the saddle for ever. The recent wire-tap scandals were major stress events. His sons are not considered media geniuses. They certainly do not have the Machiavellian flare that Murdoch is known for.
The battle will be joined when the funeral is announced.
George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. Follow him on twitter@financialskepti
Image via CrunchBase
News Corp (Nasdaq:NWS) announced two brand new directors who will be voted in next annual meeting Oct 16, 2012 in Los Angeles. Considering the governance difficulties facing News Corp you have to wonder about the two-way motivation for the two newbies. Alvaro Uribe is the former president of Columbia and a bog supporter of america’s war on drugs. Much of this war was fought in Columbia with American money and resources. The justification for Alvaro Uribe is his international credentials in particular insights into Latin America.
The other nominee is a former Labour Secretary from 2001 to 2009, Elaine L. Chao. News Corp says it likes her experience in leading vast complex organizations. and you know what she does have experience leading large complex organizations.
No news yet on compensation structure but I’m sure it’s not minimum wage.
What News Corp is hiring/acquiring is political cover and savvy. Rupert Murdoch long the master manipulator for right-wing causes has managed to get himself into a lot of trouble with the illegal wire tapping cell phone abuse scandals. What does he need?
Political cover, contacts and savvy. Expertise is waging war against drug cartels not so much.
George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. Follow him on twitter @financialskepti
English: Re-creation of current logo of Sky News (2008 – current). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
News Corp (Nasdaq:NWS) announced that it is possibly seeking a way to break itself in two. The announcement came only after the Wall St Journal which is owned by New Corp broke the story and started beating the jungle drums very hard. Not sure what News Corp thought they would achieve by not making the announcement themselves.
A couple if issues with that of course. The whole wire tapping governance issue with police investigations and some arrests is still very much around. Buying or selling other assets will not make it go away. It will probably just complicate the transaction as investigators politically motivated or just curious will keep asking everyone to open up their kimono on more than one occasion.
The whole BSkyB may benefit according to many commentators. At this point it is so politically charged, the BSkyB transaction is not likely to break Murdoch’s’ way. Doesn’t matter what other assets are sold off.
The whole move reminds me of a wolf whose paw is stuck in a steel trap. desperate and not able to conjure up a better strategy it starts to gnaw away at its paw in order to extricate itself from the problem at hand. except in this case the wolf is making an announcement that it plans to gnaw off its paw before it has actually done so. Probably with the secret hope of not really having to do so.
It’s all just a bit too surrealistic and Machiavellian. Simple valuation metrics will not work in this context.
George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.
Conrad Black has tried to kick Rupert Murdoch News Corp (Nasdaq:NWS) in the balls in the upcoming Vanity Fair edition. That’s the one with Angelina Jolie on the cover. Newsstands in NYC and LA Sep 1, iPad Sep 6. Conrad Black who is on his way back to jail complains about Rupert Murdoch’s bitch slaps that he has had to suffer. This from a man about to go back to finish up his sentence. Rupert Murdoch is spending a lot of time wondering how he can stay out of jail. The two guys supposedly have similar philosophies but would probably gladly have their butlers choke each other to death.
Conrad Black ever controversial wonders if he can survive on about $80 million. A few more years and then he will come out. I predict Barbara Amiel will have a cotillion like ball as Conrad Black thumbs his nose and does what ever he wants only restricted by his $80 million. Will it be one of those marvellous Vanity Fair parties. Rupert your invited of course hope you can make it.
Disclosure: George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. I usually don’t give a rats ass what happens to these two guy’s on a personal level. There are just fascinating reads.I do not have positions in any stocks mentioned in this post. I have no plans to initiate new positions within the next 72 hours.
Image via Wikipedia
Church of England is demanding punishment for those involved with The News of the World debacle that is consuming Rupert Murdoch and News Corp (Nasdaq:NWSA) The investment arm is aghast over the alleged hacking and other nefarious activities that the media has attributed to this particular media outlet and this particular media baron; one Rupert Murdoch.
Some Anglican clergy had originally questioned the the investment in the first place. Not sure what manner of governance structure the Church of England has in managing its investments, but screaming for scalps does not seem like a good way to maximize shareholder wealth and presumably enhance the Church of England’s ability to do good works.
What is the role of the investment manager for the Church of England? Does he/she have a fiduciary obligation to maximize returns? Was News Corp a reasonable investment in the pursuit of these goals? Do they practice so called ethical investing and eliminate so called sinful industries such as tobacco and liquor? Should the government provide regulatory oversight?
Sounds like church politics Anglican style are in play. The investment arm has been previously criticized and now they need to posture to manage their own religious optics within their own community. Religion and politics have rarely blended well. Investment and politics is not emulsifying all that well either.
Helluva way to run an investment portfolio. Now where is that Vatican style secrecy when you need it?
Disclosure: George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. I hold no positions in stocks mentioned in this post. I have no plans to initiate new positions within the next 72 hours. I am not a member of The Church of England or have any other ties to them. I am not aware of any Vatican secrets. If I was I would post them on this blog.
Image via Wikipedia
Just some out loud speculation about New York Times (NYT) and CNBC which is still owned by GE (GE). Andrew Ross Sorkin seems to be a regular on an incredibly early morning called Squawk Box. CNBC may or may not be so cozy with the Wall St Journal now that Rupert Murdoch News Corp (NEWS) owes them.
Reading the tea leaves and trying to predict the future is always difficult. Will Andrew Ross Sorkin leverage his brand and use Deal Book as a platform? Will NY Times be able to tap into news gathering from CNBC? NY Times as a print operation will eventually crash and burn. Are they fumbling toward a digital solution? Who is on first?
Disclosure: George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. I hold no positions in stocks mentioned in this post.