News Corp.’s Chase Carey Says Phone Hacking Doesn’t Indicate a Culture Problem
“It certainly has been a difficult year,” said News Corp. COO Chase Carey, referring to the public discovery that U.K. publications owned by News Corp. had hacked into cellphones in order to advance their stories. Now that the dust is beginning to settle, he added, “Our priority is to make things right.”
Was phone hacking indicative of a larger culture problem at News Corp.? asked Walt Mossberg, who interviewed Carey on stage at D: Dive Into Media this afternoon.
(This might be a good time to mention that Carey is our boss, since AllThingsD.com is owned by News Corp.)
Mossberg eventually moved onto SOPA and PIPA, the recently withdrawn anti-piracy bills. Wouldn’t it have been better for Hollywood to work together with Silicon Valley to hash out a solution that worked for both of them? he asked.
Carey doesn’t think so. “We’re the ones who are having our product pirated, so we appropriately tried to get it dealt with,” he said.
So was SOPA a bad bill?
Carey wouldn’t go that far, though he declined to comment on the specifics of the bill. “Without having read it, it probably could have been a bit better focused,” he said.
The next big topic was online television distribution and cutting the cord — two of the leading themes of today’s conference.
For the short term, News Corp.’s best option is what’s called “TV everywhere,” where watchers log in to view online programs based on their paid television accounts. Carey admitted this authentication hasn’t been executed all that well.
Over time, Carey said, News Corp. expects to increasingly address viewers who want content on their own terms. But it wants to figure out how to make money.
On a more specific note, what about Hulu, the premium video streaming site that News Corp. owns in part and tried to sell last year?
“I’m not sure where Hulu goes,” Carey said. “But it’s something a lot of people would cut off their arms for, to have that sort of leadership in the digital arena.”