POLITICS
01/10/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

New Murdoch Book Sales Disappointing

Despite getting very good play by the press, Michael Wolff's new book on Rupert Murdoch is not burning up the best-seller lists.

"The Man Who Owns The News" tackles a politically sexy topic: the reign and empire of the NewsCorp chair. And, as such, the work has been featured on a variety of prime time shows. But currently, Amazon.com Sales rankings had it at #1,452 -- a disappointing showing for a topic that generally garners large public interest.

Earlier this week, two separate people connected to the publishing world hinted that because of the poor showing, the publisher of the book was set to pull back expenditures on its publicity. But David Drake, the publicity director of Broadway Books, assured the Huffington Post that this was not the case.

"Unequivocally not, absolutely not," he said. "We have seen a tremendous response in the media to it. Certainly, not as a matter of company policy, we don't give out sales figures. But I wouldn't characterize us as disappointed."

Drake went on to note that Wolff's work, like all others, is "subject to the bigger marketplace issue affecting books." But he added that, "this is the kind of book that we publish with enthusiasm."

So what is there to account for the poor sales? The News Corp head, according to press accounts of the book, comes off as a generally well-balanced figure concerned that his empire would be defined simply by Fox News and straying, gradually, to more liberal politics. He's portrayed as absolutely despising conservative Fox News host Bill O'Reilly.

One Democrat speaking on anonymity suggested Wolff, who writes for Vanity Fair, took too easy a pen to Murdoch.