Is Rupert Murdoch just too old for this The Daily new media lark?

Well if you look at this presentation for the launch of his new iPad paper The Daily you might come to that conclusion.

Editor Jesse Angelo does a good job, clearly understanding all of it and then Rupe himself emerges from the wings to bang on about how The Daily evades newspaper-style print and distribution costs (as if that means anything to an iPad audience) all for 14 cents a day. Who, apart from him, cares? And he looks very, very old.

Now the veteran media magnate, who’s nearly 80, has had a tough time recently, fending off criticism over News of the World phone hacking in the UK and his company’s bid for ownership of all of UK pay-TV operator BSkyB. He had to cancel a trip to Davos to hobknob with the great and good to stay behind and bail out his floundering UK management, including son James.

And he no doubt felt he had to front up at The Daily launch (which looks pretty good although it’s an online magazine really), particularly as partner in crime Apple’s Steve Jobs is indisposed.

A clever young law student said to me the other day, apropos Murdoch and his company’s supposed misdemeanours: “what’s this old man doing screwing up our lives?”

Murdoch has answered successfully every business challenge with which he’s been confronted. But the one thing that confounds nearly all tycoons, and politicians too as they’re finding out in the Middle East, is trying to pass on a vast business to the family.

Murdoch looks like a man who’s finding all of this a ferocious burden.

You May Also Like

About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.