Trying to distract from some disastrous quarterly results, Rupert Murdoch made headlines the other day by announcing that News Corp. would shortly begin to charge for access to its websites and that "the current days of the Internet will soon be over."
This comes on the heels of Murdoch firing the founders and reorganizing MySpace and bringing in Jonathan Miller, the former head of AOL, to run News Corp.'s digital businesses.
Rupert, in other words, is mad as hell about the Internet and is going to do something about it.
I've pointed out before that Murdoch doesn't know where the Internet is--doesn't get email, doesn't use a computer, can't get his cell phone to work. He may, literally, never have opened a web page. News Corp. itself, other than its fluke purchase of MySpace--whose value rose and then, as Facebook surged ahead, crashed--is even more culturally uninterested in digital media than other digitally averse traditional media companies. So when Murdoch has to say something on the issue--when that's what the company thinks Wall Street wants to hear--there's a chicken-without-head scramble in the company to find someone whose been on the Internet to brief him.
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