Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Welcome Rupe! How's That Gemstar Deal (Not) Working Out?

gemstar

The Wall Street Journal gave a big hello to its new owner, Rupert Murdoch, who takes over Dow Jones (owner of this site) today, by publishing this tough piece also today on the disaster of News Corp.’s investment in Gemstar-TV Guide International.

It comes from breakingviews, an online financial commentary Web site that the news organization regularly adds to its print paper and online site. Dow Jones also is a minority investor in the site, which was writing about the recently announced deal for Macrovision to buy Gemstar, in which News Corp. owns a 41% stake.

Money (or, more precisely, non-money) quote:

But in gross terms, Mr. Murdoch looks to have paid $1.6 billion–after selling the magazines in 1991 and receiving cash from Mr. Malone in 2000–for the first half of his Gemstar stake. He paid $6 billion in News Corp. stock for the other half. That is nearly $8 billion for an investment valued at $1 billion today.”

Ouch!


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald