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Rupert Murdoch to Shareholders: Love Me or Leave Me

Peter Z. Scheer
Managing Editor
Peter Scheer grew up in the newspaper business, spending family vacations with his mother at newspaper editors' conferences, enjoying daycare in editorial departments and begrudgingly reviewing his father's…
Peter Z. Scheer

You don’t get to be a tycoon by going soft, and at this year’s shareholder meeting, Rupert Murdoch was defiant in the face of disgruntled investors.

Murdoch’s News Corp. has been under fire since one of the conglomerate’s least profitable businesses, newspapers, were outed for phone hacking.

Murdoch controls most of the voting shares of his empire, and was never in any real danger. The Guardian summarizes how he handled another year of disapproval from some of his financial backers:

Last week Murdoch wrote on Twitter: “Busy preparing for next week’s company AGM. Signs pretty peaceful, but any shareholders with complaints should take profits and sell!”

Asked at the meeting about the comment, Murdoch said: “Oh please.” He then pointed to a comment in The New York Times where an analyst suggested dissident shareholders could sell their stock and buy other media firms.

The exchange was a rare flash of annoyance from the often irascible chairman who delivered a calm performance and avoided any tricky questions about the alleged £7m payoff for his former favourite Rebekah Brooks, the News International chief who presided over News Corp’s disgraced UK newspapers.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.

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