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In the United Kingdom, the crumbling empire of Rupert Murdoch

In the United Kingdom, the crumbling empire of Rupert Murdoch

At 92, Rupert Murdoch doesn’t want to stop. In June, when the observer, a small but influential British weekly in conservative circles, has been put up for sale, the news magnate, according to our sources, being the first to take an interest in the matter. The discussions have not yet been successful, but they reaffirm the persistence of the Australian-American billionaire, who has dreamed of getting his hands on the magazine for years. Media at the center of power has always been his passion.

read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers Rupert Murdoch, ripping off heirs, an unlikely heir

However, the hyperbole he displayed did not mask his team’s relative decline in the UK. News Corp, one half of its empire (the other being Fox Corp, which notably owns US news channel Fox News), released its annual results for the period July 2022 to June 2023 on Thursday, August 10.

Overall, the group is doing very well: 9.9 billion dollars (9 billion euros), down slightly for exchange rate reasons, and a pre-tax profit of 330 million, the second highest in ten years. However, most of the growth came from the Dow Jones Financial Information Group, which includes the US daily Wall Street Journal and its 4 million subscribers (85% digital).

Try to diversify

In the United Kingdom, on the other hand, the dynamic is much slower. A very clear symbol comes from the sun, its distribution divided by four in fifteen years. After buying it in 1969, he made it a dominant force in British media with topless pin-ups (the famous “Page 3”, which was highly scandalous when it launched in 1970) and gossip about show business and politics.

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At its peak in the 1990s, it sold 4 million copies a day; in 2010, another 3 million; In 2019, only 1.2 million. Since then, News Corp has sought to remove ABC from circulation, which the company officially circulates, but only about 700,000 copies a day.

Of course, the decline of the paper press was universal. But, on the one hand, the the sundoubled by Dailymail (around 750,000 daily copies), is no longer the leading British newspaper, and on the other hand, has failed to find an online paid subscription business model. In 2021, News Corp drew the consequences: its value was reduced to zero in its accounts.

read more: The article is reserved for our subscribers In the United Kingdom, the daily “The Sun” no longer shines

The the sunThis is Mr. Murdoch has long held a special place in his heart – “If you want to know what I think, read on the sun », he announced in 2012 –, in order to find a growth driver, the United States launched a website. The tabloid generates a lot of traffic (159 million unique visitors in July), but this strategy is not profitable. 2024 promises to be a dangerous year for the title. In fact, Prince Harry sued her for allegedly spying on her by hiring private detectives. The trial is scheduled for January.

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