News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch stopped by the Fox Business Network today for an extensive interview on business, Wall Street, and the future of media, with Brian Sullivan, and he had effusive praise for Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Calling the iPad a “really beautiful device” and predicting that Apple will sell “at least 10 million” iPads within the year, Murdoch hinted that he would like to see the News Corp-owned Wall Street Journal
make its way to the improve it’s iPad app and supported Jobs’ statement yesterday that he backs the established media.
Asked about his opinion of Jobs’ support of the print industry– which he phrased as a wish that America won’t become a “nation of bloggers,” Murdoch explained Jobs view as being more of a quality control issue than a distaste for all blogs as such:
“From the point of view of our democracy, it’s very important to have good newspapers, good edited, responsible information disseminated, and views, everywhere. And if we just descend to blogs, which a lot of people can’t distinguish between the good and the bad– and most of them are bad and crazy… you know, so, he was saying this is really important.”
With that in mind, Murdoch praised the iPad, which Jobs also said was an attempt to help newspapers and magazines enter the internet era. “It may diminish [newspapers],” he admitted, “and take [their] place slowly over a number of years. It’s an extraordinary device, and it will get better.” What this means for the Wall Street Journal, he later added, was that
yes, it will have an iPad app, the paper is working to improve its app and looking at the competitors’ for ideas, and he intends to make customers pay for the services. How do you do it? “Simple, you turn them off. They’ve got to sign on, give the credit card number. That’s it. There will be developments. It’s very early days here.”
He also expanded on the state of the global economy, which he saw as much more positive outside of Europe, and expected the spread of democracy elsewhere to help. As for our own economy, “there is a lot more hardship,” he noted, “a lot more unemployed than what you see in the figures. It’s really worrying,” but ultimately, he expects a recovery in the future.
Update: when this post was written, I mistook Murdoch’s comments that the WSJ’s app has to look “as good as” the competition out there to mean they were still working on it– which they are, but there is an app out there already. The error has been corrected.
Video of the two-part interview below:
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