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Investors Campaign To Oust Murdochs From News Corp 150

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the ted-turner-wants-your-blood dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Alan Mutter writes that the California Public Employees Retirement System, the nation's largest pension fund, has become the latest investor to say it would vote against the re-election of Rupert Murdoch and his sons to the company's board of directors, joining several other institutional investors opposed to the tenure of not only the Murdoch trio but also most of the rest of the leader's hand-picked board. 'The company appears to have devolved into a free-wheeling, cut-throat and paranoid culture that reached its logical conclusion in the phone-hacking scandal at The News of the World, where deceit and naked ambition trumped common decency, good judgment and even simple compliance with the law,' writes Mutter... Further proof of the anything-goes atmosphere at News Corp was supplied last week when the Guardian reported that ... the European edition of the Wall Street Journal evidently sold access to its news columns and created back-channel payment networks to lift the otherwise sagging circulation of the paper... 'It's not clear whether the outside shareholders have the votes to change anything at a corporation where Murdoch effectively controls 40% of the shares,' concludes Mutter, 'But adult supervision most certainly is in order, because News Corp. seems to be operating with only the sketchiest of business plans and no effective executive oversight of his many far-flung initiatives. '"
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Investors Campaign To Oust Murdochs From News Corp

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  • by SlippyToad (240532) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @02:26PM (#37753530)

    'But adult supervision most certainly is in order, because News Corp. seems to be operating with only the sketchiest of business plans and no effective executive oversight of his many far-flung initiatives

    It's to terrorize a modern democracy into giving over control of our every institution to unelected morons with a bare-knuckled agenda of self-enrichment.

    Fuck Fox News. Fuck Everyone Who Listens To Fox News. Fuck Everyone Who Opens Their Dumb Fuck Mouth On Fox News. Fox News Should Be Pulled Apart By Wild Weasels.

    I've about had it with these vandals. Fucking freaks!

    • by overshoot (39700) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @02:34PM (#37753642)

      Fox News Should Be Pulled Apart By Wild Weasels.

      What did wild weasels ever do to you?

    • Thank you,
      Now you got me wondering on who will win... the Fox or the Weasel...

    • by Nidi62 (1525137)

      Fuck Everyone Who Opens Their Dumb Fuck Mouth On Fox News.

      One of the professors in my graduate department, who is highly liberal, was invited and paid to appear on Fox news because her research found a liberal bias in state bar (law, not booze) organizations (which was not at all what she expected to find). So not everyone who appears on Fox News is an idiot who wants to turn the US into the Fascist States of Christ, as you seem to believe.

      Ironically enough, she was subsequently attacked by many liberals for having a conservative bias and agenda due to the findin

      • by Nimey (114278) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @03:40PM (#37754454) Homepage Journal

        However, the organization is intended as such.

      • The fact that she agreed to go onto a biased site like fox shows that she is an idiot, however. I hope here research wasn't as flawed as her personal decisions appear to be.
        • by Kittenman (971447)
          Agree. I read a Michael Shermer book once where he agreed to go on a Jerry Springer show to argue for skepticism. What on earth was he (Shermer) thinking?
      • by PCM2 (4486)

        One of the professors in my graduate department, who is highly liberal, was invited and paid to appear on Fox news because her research found a liberal bias in state bar (law, not booze) organizations (which was not at all what she expected to find).

        So what if she's "highly liberal"? The only reason she was invited to appear is because she published research that could be spun to support a standard Republican talking point, which is that the Democratic Party is bought and paid for by trial lawyers. She should have realized this, but she took the money and appeared on the show anyway, because she decided that her own selfish interests outweighed her principles -- in other words, she acted exactly like any other corrupt right-wing stooge that appears on

        • by innerweb (721995)

          Another way to see this is that unlike "any other corrupt right-wing stooge that appears on Fox News", she showed integrity and reported what she found without falsifying the data or running multiple studies looking for the one that backed her beliefs. Who knows?

          Or, maybe what you are really seeing is that Fox News picks their own stories and thus draws upon stories of a certain bent (market share/shill) without regards to the source. That I find very plausible.

          • by PCM2 (4486)

            Or, maybe what you are really seeing is that Fox News picks their own stories and thus draws upon stories of a certain bent (market share/shill) without regards to the source. That I find very plausible.

            That's pretty much what I said. She got invited by Fox and they paid her for the appearance. That shows they aren't reporting news, they're doing an entertainment/opinion show. News-gathering organizations do not pay for interviews with newsmakers. But despite being "highly liberal," she did it anyway, because she wanted to promote her research to further her own career. So rather than being an outlier case of Fox News allowing "equal access" to people who are "highly liberal" (as the GGP seems to suggest),

      • by tehcyder (746570)
        She should just have let Fox News spin her research how they wanted without getting involved herself. There is no law that says you have to accept Fox's blood money and appear on their crappy TV shows.
    • Speaking of which:

      "The company appears to have devolved into a free-wheeling, cut-throat and paranoid culture that reached its logical conclusion in the phone-hacking scandal at The News of the World,"

      FTFY: "The company appears to have devolved into a free-wheeling, cut-throat and paranoid culture that reached its logical conclusion as The Fox News Network,"

  • Would It Change? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Greyfox (87712) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @02:29PM (#37753562) Homepage Journal
    Fox and its affiliates got where they are by selling an elaborate and real-seeming fictional world, catering to people who could be convinced to wear Tinfoil hats if enough of the people on the network repeated that it was a good idea. I don't think it would be as profitable if people who believe everything they hear were to become better informed. What if those people started to think for themselves? They might start listening to other news sources! Perhaps even NPR! Then Fox would actually HAVE to be a legitimate news organization, or their core audience might realize how full of shit they are, come out of their bunkers, sell off their gold and start living less fearful lives! That would be devastating to Newscorp's bottom line!

    Which is why I'm voting my 11% shares to keep Murdoch. Sorry guys!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by swan5566 (1771176)
      NPR has its own skeletons in the closet. Look up Juan Williams. I think it's better to just assume that every news source has its junk, whether its well-known or not, and to just read any news source with a grain of salt, and then cross-reference it with other news sources. I think this is more realistic than to assume X is biased, and Y is not.
      • by jeffmeden (135043)

        NPR has its own skeletons in the closet. Look up Juan Williams. I think it's better to just assume that every news source has its junk, whether its well-known or not, and to just read any news source with a grain of salt, and then cross-reference it with other news sources. I think this is more realistic than to assume X is biased, and Y is not.

        The thing that makes Fox extra fun is that they admittedly spend only about 6 hours a day being a "news source" (and it's not in the timeslots you think it is)... Guess which category Juan's little crymeafuckin river rant was aired in? Tune out 100% of the prime time talking heads and their anything-for-ratings antics and you MIGHT get enough information from Fox to make it worthwhile, but you won't see Juan or any of the other "familiar faces" on during those hours.

      • Really? You're comparing the sale of news articles and circulation fraud with firing a news analyst for making an utterly moronic statement while representing NPR?

        I agree that every news source has issues, that all stories should be cross-checked for accuracy. But there is getting some things wrong on occasion, and having a corporate policy to flat-out lie for profit and propaganda purposes.

      • Your response is intrinsically stupid. What you are saying is that "two wrongs make a right."

        In the first place, NPR is not the anti-Fox. It is just another news outlet. How does a failure at NPR relate in any way to bad behavior at Fox? Your argument implies complete contempt for the concept of "fair and balanced" and assumes that all news is propaganda and intentionally biased.

        In the second place, you are saying that as long as the "opposition" does something wrong, it justifies bad behavior on your si

    • by Hatta (162192)

      This is modded flamebait, but it's pretty close to the truth. Investors in Fox have to know that they're not investing in a journalistic enterprise. They're investing in propaganda for profit. If they replace Murdoch (big if), expect someone just even worse to replace him.

      • by Greyfox (87712)
        Truth often is flamebait.

        The America that Fox represents as real does not actually exist. It is an America full of people terrified of the boogey man. Whoever the boogey man of the month happens to be. They are not a news organization, they are a fiction organization.

        So what is reality? Go figure that out for yourself. Everyone has their own axe to grind. Compare several views of the world for a while and it gets to be pretty easy to spot what each individual organization's axe is. NPR's seems to be "Ev

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          The America that Fox represents as real does not actually exist. It is an America full of people terrified of the boogey man. Whoever the boogey man of the month happens to be. They are not a news organization, they are a fiction organization.

          Trying to fit this into a UK context, Fox News sounds like The Daily Mail. 'Nuff said.

      • by rtb61 (674572)

        Fox not-News(I refuse to repeat a lie), is basically a news organisation target at two groups, psychopaths and narcissists. Not surprising as it is run by psychopaths and staffed by narcissists. They are the greed and ego network, they run adds by the greedy to sell products to the greedy and truth, well, truth is just to darn unprofitable.

        It is "Insanity TV" and the only real saving grace is, it is pretty much a bug loser on the internet and is dying a slow but sure inevitable death. In the meantime do

  • Tech news? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grimmjeeper (2301232) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @02:32PM (#37753618)

    I know stories like this generate a lot of traffic but what does this have to do with tech news?

    • My guess? they did said protesting from thier iPhones? I really dont know.
    • It's "News for nerds, stuff that matters" not "tech news."
      • stuff that matters

        "stuff that matters"

        'Nuff said...

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        And this matters? No it is News for Nerds this is News for bankers and stock brokers.
        Heck it is even tagged Business!
        Slashdot is dead.

        • by esme (17526)

          And this matters? No it is News for Nerds this is News for bankers and stock brokers.
          Heck it is even tagged Business!

          yes, a possible change in the leadership of a company that is very influential in politics, news and entertainment matters -- at least to me, and probably most nerds who care about government or entertainment, which is probably ~100%.

          Slashdot is dead.

          /me checks poster's id

          cry me a river, kid. people have been complaining about /. going downhill since forever. if you don't like it, quit bit

        • It is news for people for whom "technology" might mean something a bit more than "gadgets".

          If you really dislike the site that much, WTF are you doing here? There's the door. Try not to trip too badly over your own smug anti-intellectualism as you exit.

          (Protip: You seem to think that mocking others to compensate for your own wilful ignorance makes you look clever. It does not.)

          • by LWATCDR (28044)

            Yea really. Sorry but no. I would have no problem with this on MSNBC, BBC, or even NPR. I didn't say this wasn't news I said it wasn't news for nerds.
            This is an example of mainstreaming, manipulation, and and frankly the politics of Slashdot.

            I would complain if it was on Scientific American, MotorTrend, Sports Aviation, or Sky and Telescope.
            And exactly how is who runs News Corp in anyway technology? I would even give it to you if was about their pay walls.

            "Try not to trip too badly over your own smug anti-

        • by sjames (1099)

          You've never heard of News nerds/geeks?

        • by pev (2186)

          The Only Constant Is Change.

    • Enough of us here complain about News Corp, Murdoch, Fox, etc. that it's probably relevant enough for our purposes. If this goes anywhere, it's really big news and it does matter. Besides, it's not like this [slashdot.org] was news-for-nerds(TM) either.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It's a Slashdotter masturbation frenzy. Everyone will get in with a comment about how they're so smart for not believe anything on Fox news, and they'll try to top each other in contests of cleverness by substituting "Faux" for "Fox" because nothing impresses the ladies like snide misspellings.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      I know stories like this generate a lot of traffic but what does this have to do with tech news?

      News foir Nerds. Stuff that Matters.

      The tagline is not "tech news only with no reference to the real world".

  • But CA Public Employees Retirement System sounds left wing already, and if I were a worker, I'd be pissed that they're using my pension $ to play politics instead of simply focusing on good companies and divesting themselves of bad ones.

    • by digistil (628921)
      Isn't the electing of the board part of being an investor? If my pension can't be bothered to act on my investments through them, why would I stick with them?
    • Uhhh, see, it is clearly bad for the long-term benefits of their members that fox continues to exert any influence at all on American politics. So their move is in fact good economic policy.

      • by truthsearch (249536) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @02:47PM (#37753788) Homepage Journal

        Better policy would be to not invest in News Corp at all.

        News Corp. seems to be operating with only the sketchiest of business plans and no effective executive oversight of his many far-flung initiatives

        Then why are they, or anyone else seeking a successful investment, owing part of the company? If no one wanted the stock it would devalue itself and the rest of the owners, including the Murdochs, would lose money.

      • by operagost (62405)

        Uhhh, see, it is clearly bad for the long-term benefits of their members that any media outlet continues to exert any influence at all on American politics.

        FTFY

    • by trims (10010) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @02:51PM (#37753840) Homepage

      Please. Public Pension systems are one of the last bastions of Good left in this country. And, I'm not talking about the pension system itself, I'm talking about some very, very responsible fund managers who run them (not just CALPers, but most state's public pension systems). These folks are paid significantly less than equivalent ones on Wall Street, and they put in a huge effort to get good returns for their funds. Part of that effort is to be more pro-active than a typical Wall Streeter, and not just game the system, but FIX the system.

      So, you're strategy is "cut and run"? Where? Oh, to another company where the culture sucks so bad because the stockholders are sheep. The pension funds are right - they have to fight, since there's no where to move their money that isn't in some way corrupted by the current international "corporate culture standard".

      There have been some major efforts by public pension systems (just in the past year, I can remember efforts from Louisiana, Wisconsin, New York, and even South Carolina) to reform the way companies are run. This has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with maximizing the pension's ROI - after all, that $100 million the board just paid the CEO comes right out of stockholder's pockets. Public pension systems are at the forefront of the reform movement, and it's all in very much self interest.

      In the Murdoch's case, fighting to oust them can only HELP the ROI - NewsCorp is incurring massive losses (legal, circulation, etc.) directly due to the Murdoch-installed culture. Replace that culture with a more sane one, and the ROI goes back up.

      It's not politics, folks, it's money. Pure self-interest, just it happens to be wielded for Good this time.

      -Erik

    • Um if you bothered to read the summary above, it seems that the pension is troubled by Murdochs' apparent lack of ethics or the underlying lack of control. Either Murdoch and his sons had no clue what his editors were doing or they knew but did nothing about it. Both are bad signs for a company's management.
    • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @04:43PM (#37755174) Homepage

      But CA Public Employees Retirement System sounds left wing already, and if I were a worker, I'd be pissed that they're using my pension $ to play politics instead of simply focusing on good companies and divesting themselves of bad ones.

      If large, institutional investors don't take an active hand in steering public corporations, who will? Do you honestly think that if we posted about it to Facebook enough, all the individual investors would take time to fill out their shareholder ballots and vote the Murdochs off the board? If CalPERS was responsible for my retirement security, I not only would expect it to wield as much influence as it could over its holdings to secure long-term growth, but I would also expect it to steer those organizations in a direction that does not send them down the path of graft, corruption, and criminal misconduct. You seem to advocate CalPERS taking its ball and going home. I say it's far better for American workers and the U.S. economy for CalPERS to help keep corporations like News Corp accountable, responsible, forthright, upstanding, and most of all legal.

    • by rahvin112 (446269)

      The biggest problem with American capitalism right now and the single biggest reason CEO salaries are going up at 100% per year is exactly because investors have abrogated their responsibility to the company they are owners of. This is the reason the boards of most companies are comprised of friendly CEO's from other companies and no one running the company actually owns any significant stock. If you need an example look at HP, other than the Hewlett and Packard relatives with minority ownership there isn't

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      But CA Public Employees Retirement System sounds left wing already, and if I were a worker, I'd be pissed that they're using my pension $ to play politics instead of simply focusing on good companies and divesting themselves of bad ones.

      Maybe if you were a worker you'd be left wing yourself.

  • Good, I hope they do oust the evil old bastard.

    Then maybe we can get rid of FOXs other owner, the known terrorist bankroller Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.
  • And why, exactly, don't they just ask police in all involved countries to investigate the papers and board for fraud? 40% means jack shit if RICO and similar laws are applied to the board.

    • Because those kinda of moves would lower the value of the stock which they own a significant number of shares. They want Murdoch gone and new leadership which helps their investments for their members.
      • by Alex Belits (437) *

        But they can't get Murdoch and his cronies out any other way, so there isn't really a choice.

  • by willoughby (1367773) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @02:47PM (#37753790)

    I thought Rupert's website paywalls were going to fix all their problems.

    • by MLCT (1148749)
      They don't paywall newspapers these days, they shutter them.

      The complex web of the phone hacking scandal has many threads to yet unwind. James - Herr Flick - Murdoch was the heir apparent. But when the complete truth is ironed out and he is found to have lied to the UK parliament select committee on what he knew then his corporate career is over. Where that leaves the "empire" given the age of it's king, is anyone's guess - but a family dynasty to control all far into the future is looking increasingl
  • Hurm... how many want to bet that absolutely none of this will make Fox News at 11 tonight?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If Dick Cheyney is the Darth Vader of government, then certainly Rupert Murdoch is the Darth Vader of Industry. I hope he gets spanked hard!

  • Stock holder revolts rarely work. Stockholders are second class citizens (maybe even 3rd or 4th). If it looks like it might have a chance the board will amend the charter making it even more difficult to revolt. If sued, they will use the assets of the company, in other words the stockholders, to fend the stockholders off.

    Scumbags.

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