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Read this: Succession and shakedown for Murdoch and TikTok

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Succession and shakedown for Murdoch and…



BBC sounds music Radio podcasts from BBC Radio 4 hello today succession and Shakedown at two of the world's most talked-about Media Empires on Friday drama at the house of Murdoch James Murdoch resigned from the family firm sighting disagreements over any content and over the weekend at tiktok President Trump gave a Chinese company and ultimatum sell up to a US company or be banned next month and if tiktok is sold trump claims that is due a huge cut two stories to have a Biter on the Mini show today, but that's not all let me introduce you to guess I'll start with a pair of top Media cheeses in the enviable position you might say I'll specialising in two other things you mostly can't do at the moment nearly travel and sport Melinda Stevens is the editor-in-chief of the magazine condenast.

In the u.s.

And UK enough, you're talking to us from an exotic corner of a glow.

Where are you today? I'm on a tiny Islands in the cyclades, Greece and I have to say is very lovely and looking at the sea and listening to the cicadas, but it's pretty basic and I'm pretty hot but it's pretty delicious.

Ok you pick up a selection of magazines at the airport.

Do you know obviously I magazine Hound but I didn't this time it wasn't you know my god, that's all.

I do but the there's magazine shops are not open the airport with incredibly quiet today Jeff ulcer is the executive sunset and vine the TV company that specialises in live sport at one of those names you might recognise from the end of the credits for me at that means the cricket coverage that they produce Jeff will come onto what York

Which at the moment but I was here first of all just briefly why you are everything to the great Jimmy Hill tell us more well.

I was at school and Maya in the upper 6 and didn't want to go to University so I did my A-levels my mum said I was I was thinking at one point playing cricket for a living and I'll keep the story very brief but my mum said I think you should try and get a proper job so I completely found in that.

I've got a job in television, but I've worked ITV and BBC there only two channels in those that is which is given my age and I got a response from the BBC saying come back when you've got a degree young man and the I got a note back from London weekend saying we've got a job Jr Clark in the in the sports department of junior clerk is pretty much like a runner we called it today and I had one interview with a guy and then I managed to get a second interview and that was with the the Great

Who was then head of sport and what walked in with my School blazer on with the colours of you know cricket and football and all that sort of stuff and we just chatted about 45 minutes.

It was he can't be asked me anything about my academic record or anything and as I walked out his secretary put her arm around me and said I think you'll be alright.

Nobody 10-minutes idea where to get into the industry and not much has changed brilliant wonderful the late Jimmy Hill we got to the shop for me the inside with me in the studio is the strategy and research group director at Ofcom big piece of work out today.

I've been on the BBC news channel at of course been looking at what we've been doing mediawise over the last year and you mate the height of the lockdown adults in the UK was funny.

How much are their time their waking day watching videos on the screen?

Play Mick is driven us towards extraordinary times does 40% of our waking hours.

That's right.

That's a revolution.

Thank you very much do more of your number crunching shortly welcome back to the minister to to Christopher Williams as the Sunday Telegraph business editor Chris I mention the Drum at these two huge mediabrands Murdoch and tick tock tick tock first has there ever been a media company? That's become as big as a political football is tiktok now.

We'll probably not I mean it's it is a the first example of something that you going to see more of in the coming years which is a mixture of foreign policy in industrial policy and the states of the UK and China and Russia other countries pull apart from each other tiktok is now in a position.

Where has been forced to effectively sell its us business that has happened in the other direction to sell Chinese business.

It's not a new phenomenon in that direction in this Direction it is how it works out the next few days, I think.

With Microsoft want to buy a company that's literally hot what is available business right.

It's got a huge audience very quickly gives Microsoft something which it doesn't have outside.

It's games business which is access to people and that's a very valuable commodity and meiosis in talks to buy tiktok separation in for the 5 countries that make up the so-called five eyes intelligence Alliance so that's us Canada Australia New Zealand but why not the UK that's an interesting question I think tiktok are present in the UK they been trying to establish the UK as part of their International Business as a central part of the international how that works out I think it's is unclear at the stage as a lot of Conservative MP's particularly concerned about tiktok in the same way as the US government is so I think that's another thing for the next few days is job.

Seriously as us treasury should get a cut this is this is one of the situation that does seem a little strange and unexpected you ask would want.

How about how that can possibly work out or what beyond the normal tax system? I've got no idea dance London to do their lobbying.

They're very keen on smoothing the path to allow them to open a new headquarters in the UK so you've reported on the last series why does tiktok wanted make the UK a big bass outside of China UK lots of ways of despite discussion of brexit stuff is an attractive base for as a bridge heading to Europe it's got the largest media advertising market in Europe and outside the US it's an English king.

It's in a good time zone.

It's it's attractive in lots of ways for international companies and white dance.

It's no different to inside the experience of a reporter covering the stuff if you found that we want to speak to one of these companies go through the same few pyara lobbying firms off the stuff by external text politicians trading on former glories.

Yeah, absolutely has a very interesting story about how elements of the camera.

And parts of Ed Miliband labour labour party have moved into these companies in the last few years and one of the interesting problems you have as a journalist covering them is that actually there's very few decision-makers in the UK is quite frustrating as a reporter because you want to be talking to the actual decision maker rather than a lobbyist who's acting as intermediary butt claiming to be able to become a half of these companies.

Yeah absolutely and you know that so frustrating people work at them as well as they're not they have very little autonomy from their the home from Silicon Valley or from from from Beijing and get the pain is a lobbyist absolutely enormous amounts of money picked up to Murdock and family drama playing out and I'm going to point out at this point that James Murdoch quitting the firm is actually something you predicted in your book last year which other type of the battle for Sky the Murdoch's Disney comcast and the future of entertainment Google has James Milner

The moment that the Murdoch decided to break up fox and sell most of it Disney very clever change, but it wasn't going to play a large role in the future of those two companies news Corinne Foxx that I left him.

He's not a new person in the way his father was or in the way that locking is emerging as he doesn't agree with most of the Politics of those companies and he's got 2 billion dollars out of those deals.

That is not invest himself that he was always going to go down way I know how to say it's just been surprising that is taking this long.

I know you got sources in what's going on is there judgement is your judgement that basically miss played his hand that you had a pretty bad PR over the last couple of years come out with lot of money, but do you think you could make a Different Seasons and got more out of this and he has done.

I think I lost the success so basically.

I think he had lost it at the point when phone-hacking for SIM to move back to the US right and I think it took him some time to get his head around that and then when the opportunity came to self.

He was actually one of the people advocating for that because he wanted to get out so you can argue that he has lost but he lost a long time ago and just a reminder when Rupert Murdoch sold to private lot of people soldiers Entertainment Business largely to Disney kept his news division including Fox News and there is a succession drama because his two sons James and lachlan and his daughter Elizabeth was supposedly meant by the kingsmen disposed between them with the bits going to his other three daughters as well breaking there.

Isn't it? It's already and will be having a bit of a moment where we would like to talk about it at the moment cos of succession and the BBC series you know the rise of American state is a bit of a misnomer right.

What was that to BBC three-part documentary about the different from succession HBO drama very different but also News UK is is launched the new street radio network x radio but they were job cuts announced that the sun this week.

So how far are the papers within Riva Medics News business in the UK I think the vulnerabilities same page.

You need to do the Murdoch's it's tabloid newspapers in particular, which was selling a a mass mass market journalism a lot of advertising that is particularly vulnerable segments of news media success in in newspapers subscription models like the New York Times Like the times that the Telegraph you know that those things are booming at the moment.

It's tricky going through and then we're all the pain you're saying and most pain.

You're saying is in tabloid journalism, and if you look at the supermarket what you read somewhere that cuts appalling cause the garden fence is cutting back on its lifestyle journalist and yet those pages at the weekend traditionally been the big driver of sales, but I think you're staying at the garden is a very unique set of circumstances whether a lot further along because they're all the interviews younger the passed away from print and even if you are saying morning Saturday comes a point where the fixed cost become prohibitive.

You know they need to make the saying so few during the week.

It's something like 33000 over the counter at the weekend or during the week.

The cost of running that become prohibitive now what they're doing what they cutting is interesting as well because they moved to a model that isn't subscription it's donation so they're asking for voluntary contribution and that the things that the driver's want your contributions tend to be things with because it's the garden with social conscience like environment and investigation so they're putting more money into that and have taken money from traditional lifestyle journalism fashion in vivo sport actually is getting some cars.

Have you got any intelligence? They might be considering coming up no nothing specific clearly.

It's going open at some point in the next two years Linda editor-in-chief Dimension of Conde nast traveler and it's also very very tough market for magazines containers Saturday of staff pick up some stuff.

I know you're in charge of editorial Robin commercial things were for travel, but just give us a sense, please.

How hard you been here over the last few months already having such a tricky time anyway right? It was just

Another storm we will weathering but peculiarly those three months of lockdown.

We sustained pretty well in terms of our advertising are we looking Innocence it? We're luxury luxury advertising is so strong for us because we're lifestyle ground and that includes people like Chanel and please hold but promote or operate a business the hotel side of the of the advertising spectrum.

They've been incredibly hard hit no one is booking anything and as a consequence that advertising is being very thin and unfortunately what we are expecting.

I was expecting any kind of pathologically optimist take away with that when lockdown is over we would see a big up taking people wanting to travel first and foremost and in fact would I seen even coming here? Is that the airport to empty the ports are empty?

And that makes me more nervous going forward because having said that subscriptions at 150% and on the site for July we had our strongest man ever in the UK so what that point out to me is the appetite for the content for tried and tested and authoritative travel content is still there for a bit which and TV each interior dimensions ofcom's cheese stats guy in the regulator annual survey of viewing habits out today at the top of show the headline figure 40% of their waking day during the height lock down watching a screen.

What were the channels and platforms that benefited from all those eyeballs a number of things so when it comes to broadcast the public service broadcasters have had a bit of a Renaissance in the early part of lockdown with people turning to them for trusted news about the pandemic.

So there is record audiences have

Streaming services the Lights of Netflix Amazon Prime video and of course Disney plus with rather thought you just before them launched on the 24th of March just at the beginning of locked if you like me and you have kids and in the house, then there's a great thing in terms of trying to keep them entertained and that's been a huge benefit to them pretty vicious are an evil this is add funds broadcasters that ITV channel 4 Channel 5 who's results results about tomorrow.

They couldn't capitalise on this because of the collapse in the ad market and Linda was saying we see you very soon when it comes to the video where advertising funded businesses of really struggle the forecast we see for a TV advertising and 2020 could be as much as down 20% and of course subscription for the most secure funded public service broadcasters.

They've had the challenge of not only that monetization problem, but also a lack of Life Sport

And challenges in continue to produce their soaps, but having said that cause they done really well when it comes to trusting news and also innovating around bringing drama to a TV screen in lockdown things like the BBC Talking Heads the the monologue should causes perfectly made4us social distance viewing talking about subscriptions are the heady days of 2008 when he was it.

No one's ever gonna pay for stuff like a different and proven wrong also executive chairman of sunset and vine all those potential viewers, but no sport produce.

What do you do when we had a very tough time it to be quite honest from from the middle of March we had a very nice business going with lots of live football and rugby and gaten mountain biking and whatever else and then it all fell apart and yeah, I just dropped off a cliff we're coming back now with we doing Premier League 4BH

Premiership rugby starts on friday, week, we got a team in the West Indies about to do a lockdown version of the Caribbean Premier League but it's very very difficult period for a son's you know we've had to take advantage of the the government furlough scheme which have to say was very welcome and we've managed to conserve cash and a part of a big group so we've you know we've pretty cash-rich and we've you know we got enough money to see us through but I can I can see some problems coming for companies on the line if this doesn't fit the situation carries on for too much longer.

Would you mean by that? I think companies will go bust and I think they'll be a lot of people in this industry out of work which companies.

I'm not I'm not going no name so you know I don't know the details of of those individual companies, but I know how difficult it is if you are relatively big company trying to manage you know keeping your stuff from we don't want to make anybody redundancy.

We haven't done so far whether we will have to ultimately I don't know but it's it's going to be a tough timing in TV certainly alive production over the next 9 months.

I would think it's a jet of course.

It's not just that staff the fellow, but of course employee employer freelancers who are often got the most you know most around their job security and those who have been at work as well as ct70 if they have and I was over at BT yesterday's rehearsing for the European football that we doing tonight and one of the freelance floor manager's who we used two years and years and years.

He said he was really struggling.

I mean some of the freelancers had to get.

Driving for a cargo or whatever they do and he's just work 23 days in a row manea from us and another company gave him some work, but he said it's it's been really really the freelance market and it is beginning to pick up now, but it's a it as I said earlier.

It's a slow process will come back specifically to the the pandemic.

Just a second jeffy changes were saying that the company who are driving in power in the Grove that you've been reporting on for Ofcom today or researching for Ofcom likely America not maybe apple Amazon Netflix and Disney but the Ministries in this country had before the panda it been growing a much faster rate than the rest of the economy, so there is if you can restore some of that economic growth.

There is some hope that she the sexiest of them could drive play forward that's absolutely right in saying in the context of tiktok.

It's one of the reasons why the UK's with attractive.

We got a vibrant creative industry when it comes to production and all the other benefits.

Christopher mentioned so I think we very much hope that we can find ways to continue that trajectory.

We seen your interest in studio space and stuff like that and expansion so hopefully we can get back to pretty positive future let's try and find some games with some good news through your at September issue.

Change direction for condenast traveller staycations featured on wild camping and inside track on Sussex what's the thinking the UK but it was something.

I implemented right at the beginning and at that point didn't know the UK at all well, but it's one of the pieces that we've been proud of as it's because of course it's amazing in the diversity etc.

But people are looking close to home you know both out of necessity, and I think there's something.

Because Somerset or the world's of Scotland which I was just in it.

You know a fantastic and if that can bring a boom to the British tourism industry itself and that will be exciting and of course the great Harry Evans who had on the show he coined the phrase truth in travel and wanted his journey is only to write about places.

They've been to and not to take feels like a different world is very different now.

Can I just ask you about those two specific? Do you accept freebies and are they articles in your magazine about places where the writer hasn't actually been that we were living in a studio travel is the first thing I took off the end of the magazine when I started because I don't believe in that either this and here's what I think is really important is you only go to somewhere as a as a magazine editor or as a writer?

If you've done sufficient research and due diligence that case is going to be worthy of your copy, because there is nothing worse.

I totally agree in a freebie and people doing it that own personal use but there's a big difference between gnats and with the journalist.

You know any editors that we know we're pretty focused on what places are going to be worth a place in glossy magazine so for that reason.

There's a while you focus on those particular destination never that is just not something I can down and have ever condones and that the router trusted part that word that word Trust is just the highest importance for us and for me because that's what the readers come to the magazine for and there's no point messing around with it and now more than ever and we pivot.

Tents about consent in making sure that will be more focused on responsibility more focus on being good citizens or focus on sustainability in all areas so that we can be a force for good and drive positive change going forward and just before you can of course use those make a career as an Instagram travel influencers basically from sponsorship and freebies messicani nast traveler has 1.4 million followers on Instagram would you say you're a reluctant participant in that culture because I used to love it and I am a visual person and there was something very positive and visually arresting about it as a platform.

I also think it can do an amazing work of amazing work for good in alerting people to secret addresses or

Businesses so unbelievable photographers from around the world and we have you tonight sit in that way, you know hard and strong so I do it from one point and I think it's amazing but sometimes.

I just rest by the vacuous nurse of it and I've just rest when I see the same shots of girls are the same poses post on Deck looking out but that's that's not the kind of travel journalism that we had to do what live sports does it have I got going on at the moment?

Said earlier with the Premier League watch just finished now and we've about to do European football.

So that's that's been sort of condensed into her 3-week period the end of the European season and then we start premiership Rugby on friday.

Week is involved for you in producing those huge outside in a socially distance when you got some staff working from home cos it's remarkable to think you might have a vision mixer a sound engineer who's doing it from home many miles away from the action well, if you tell me what we doing now a year ago.

I just said you were completely mad.

I'll give you for instance to Premier League football.

We have a match director sits in a in a in a studio gallery and High Wycombe we have a a truck parked in Stratford where the presentation director six the replay machines are within the sort of confines of BT the studios.

It's just incredible.

It's an hour summer she said people working working from home exactly producer and the Producers sitting there home run the show from there.

Is it is it is it cheaper to do it that way or more expensive.

It's more expensive because you've got more sort of functional areas covid-19 of covering sport at the moment.

Are there will be some elements of it that will continue I'm sure and technology improves and it's proving all the time isn't it? I think we'll see more of it and needs needs must needs message.

You say anything especially the year that companies in the sector just had you just want to the coverage of the 22 20-22 Commonwealth Games which was very reassuring have a big contract on the horizon and you'll be do more work with Amazon Prime video of course had a few of the restarted Premier League fixtures.

Cyst from your side of the defences aware of your side of the pitch, what's that was a metaphor you how do you assess Amazon's entry into UK sports rights are there in it for The Long Haul long? Haul.

I would say yes.

I think the the packages that they got at the moment for what's two more years now.

Are you know? It's only 20 games a season SO2 no2 full full days of fixtures so I think it's a turning the water.

I think they're seen how it how it works for them now.

They're not gonna they're not going to tell us what the numbers that are but I think there are lots of lots of smiles all the games last Christmas and yeah, I'd I would say they're here to stay and there a powerful they start their yeah, it's going to be interested in the next few months is the next Premier League auction starts at the end of this year and what the pandemic has done to the long-term value of sports rights is going to be very interesting you got bidders who had a very tough year and

Competing in the same way as they used to in BT and sky so what's that got to do to the price that are willing to pay for Premier League's been very interesting yeah? Yeah, I know and also I think football has been all sports without a crowd and I think the quality of the Premier League football.

Is is not quite what it was you know that that will have an impact on what broadcast is if this carries on like this and it's to be honest.

It's hard to see in the UK crowds coming back this year for a long time that we running out of time annoying as ever is there some sort of contingency in the Commonwealth Games contract as we're still dealing with covid-19 in 22 years time.

Yeah, I mean that at the moment.

It's it's it's so find the distance that hopefully everything will be ok and we're planning as if it's Uno plus a planning as if it's all going to head as as as

Contract ok, so you conscious as a business executive chairman that there's a chance if a pandemic is still with us and a couple of years time that very little bit busy as much as a bit lonely of the games that I cancelled it should be right.

We should be ok.

Yeah.

I mean it you know if we have to adjust the way we cover it because of the pandemic away we doing at the moment then will do that.

Ok are any worry? I'm only worries if they cancel it all to go.

Thank you very much.

Do you thank you so much older? I get some Jethro so who's executive chairman of sunset and vine? Thank you too.

Melissa Stephens editor-in-chief at Conde nast traveller Chris Williamson Sunday Telegraph business editor and strategy and research group director at the same time next week.

Thanks for listening.


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