Rupe wants Sky News to be like Fox News
Rupert Murdoch wants to make his U.K. news web, Sky News, more like right-of-center Fox News — but his son James won’t let him.
According to evidence given by the media mogul to a British parliamentary committee, the only reason that Sky News is not more like Fox News is that “nobody at Sky listens to me.”
The channel airs on satcaster platform BSkyB, which is run by Murdoch’s youngest son.
In Blighty Sky News must adhere to U.K. impartiality rules and is highly regarded, not least for its political neutrality.
Earlier this year, the web was again voted news channel of the year by the Royal Television Society.
But in a conversation with Norman Fowler, chairman of the communications committee of the House of Lords, the U.K. parliament’s upper house, Murdoch said he’d like Sky News to be more like Fox News to make it “a proper alternative to the BBC.”
This, presumably, was a reference to the media owner’s belief that BBC News contains an inherent liberal bias.
Murdoch also, not for the first time, took a swipe at British lawmakers and regulators, saying that the U.K. was “anti-success,” which had stopped him expanding his media empire further.
Regulators are probing his acquisitions to see if they threaten media plurality, but Murdoch said he had backed plurality by investing in 200 channels at BSkyB.
He said the government’s concern about cross-media ownership was “10 years out of date,” considering the growth in media.
Anxiety over BSkyB’s 17.9% stake in commercial web ITV — which many U.K. commentators think the paybox will be forced to give up — stemmed from “paranoia.”