The Murdoch Mission: The Digital Transformation of a Media Empire

The Murdoch Mission: The Digital Transformation of a Media Empire

The Murdoch Mission: The Digital Transformation of a Media Empire

The Murdoch Mission: The Digital Transformation of a Media Empire

Synopsis

A dramatic narrative by a top journalist about the transformation of one of the world's greatest media empires. The Murdoch Mission gets inside Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. and documents the media mogul's strategic forays in digital media and broadcasting and new Internet-based businesses. Among other giant highlights is the creation of his new $40 billion company, the mammoth Sky Global Networks. Wendy Rohm provides an up-close look at how Murdoch's youngest son, James Murdoch, is changing his father's fortune in the megamarket of China and other world markets. She shows the impact these forays will have on international trade and the media world at large. Based on her personal time with James in Hong Kong and Beijing, interviews with Rupert Murdoch himself as well as Murdoch's corporate officers, senior executives, colleagues, confidants, and competitors, Rohm provides a larger-than-life, colorful account of how one of the most powerful media lords on the planet leads his global corporation into the digital age. The Murdoch Mission delves into Murdoch's successes as well as his disasters while also providing a glimpse into the impact he and his company are having on the cultural and media landscape of the world. Wendy Goldman Rohm (Chicago, IL) is the bestselling author of The Microsoft File, a Business Week, Barnes & Noble, and New York Times bestseller. A prolific writer, she has been a correspondent for many publications, including Wired magazine, Upside, the New York Times Syndicate International, Chicago Tribune, Red Herring, the Los Angeles Times, and others.

Excerpt

On February 20, 2001, in a News Corporation boardroom in Los Angeles, top executives leading all of Keith Rupert Murdoch's Sky Global companies gave a presentation to Mike Smith, the head of General Motors' Hughes Electronics— owner of pay-TV giant DirecTV—in the midst of a mammoth $70 billion merger attempt.

During the meeting, Murdoch's group presented strategic views of the most critical properties leading News Corp.'s expansion efforts around the globe. Murdoch's youngest son, James, leader of his Pan-Asian broadcaster Star, detailed the company's business model in the world's most rapidly expanding media markets: India and China. NDS, News Corp.'s technology arm, had its president, Abe Peled, reveal his company's role in providing the technological glue enabling new interactive applications and broadcast services across all of News Corp.'s properties around the globe. British Sky Broadcasting chief Tony Ball documented the U.K. pay-TV company's huge growth and innovation in the area of interactive television. And Gemstar TV Guide chairman Henry Yuen discussed Gemstar's worldwide plans for the ultimate consumer portal via the television screen.

All of these endeavors, and many more around the globe, were all feeding into Murdoch's new holding company, Sky Global, the embodiment of his grand plan to combine all of News Corp.'s satellite and technology businesses. Murdoch had lined up the building blocks for a new media platform that would support all of his properties around the globe. Sky Global, he hoped, would become an integrated platform for “interactive multimedia content distribution.”

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