why the decline?, page-2

  1. 846 Posts.
    Maybe this is a partial explanation:

    Dad funny verdict on Murdoch & Son sitcom

    Nils Pratley
    Saturday November 15, 2003
    The Guardian

    It was billed as the premiere of Murdoch & Son, an exciting new double act breaking new ground in boardroom arrogance.

    Only one half of the duo, though, lived up to the hype. Rupert was all we had hoped - snarling, sarcastic and occasionally very funny. Young James, though, took his role of straight man far too literally. His sole contribution to BSkyB's annual meeting was to read, head bowed, from a script handed out in advance. At the press conference afterwards, his moment of greatest animation was to kill the proceedings after 10 minutes. Rupert looked disappointed at that.

    The only shareholder who remotely ruffled the chairman was the one who sprang to his defence. Patrick Evershed of New Star Asset Management couldn't see what all the fuss was about. James was "without doubt" the best qualified man for the job - he had checked personally with some TV people and they had confirmed it. Mr Evershed was so confident he had doubled his stake.

    Murdoch Sr declined the open goal. "Thank you very much," he said, not sounding grateful at all.

    He seemed to prefer the hostile ones, such as John Marshall, who called Lord St John of Fawsley "more a family retainer than an independent director" and thought BSkyB was in danger of going the way of Maxwell's Mirror Group, "where a domineering father led his son astray".

    "Thank you, sir, your comments have been noted," said Murdoch, who didn't take a note all meeting.

    He deflated the fund manager who took half of his allotted two minutes to describe his own job title and 0.7% shareholding in BSkyB: "Congratulations," said Murdoch.

    And so the meeting proceeded to the foregone conclusion of voting. We knew it was foregone because the proxy votes - including those of News Corp's 35% - had been counted and Murdoch had told the dissenters to do their worst.

    His tone was unaltered for the press conference, as we had effectively been warned when Murdoch had invited his shareholders to wonder at the news organisation (he didn't name the BBC) that had sent 19 representatives.

    But at least we got a joke out of James, even if it was unintended. "I'm sorry to interrupt you..." said the chief executive to the chairman.

arrow-down-2 Created with Sketch. arrow-down-2 Created with Sketch.