After 'Today's' Murdoch Profile, a Question Arises
August 15, 2007 11:16 AM
CNBC's Erin Burnett profiled News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch during the second half-hour of NBC's "Today" show Tuesday, but she neglected to note the interesting and growing conflict between News Corp. and the NBC Universal family, which includes CNBC.
The peg for the profile of Murdoch as the third-most powerful media mogul in the world and the man whose empire has been built on going "downmarket," was, of course, News Corp.'s recent acquisition of Dow Jones & Co.
But there was no mention of the fact that CNBC will be confronted with its first direct competition for business news audiences from the Fox Business Network, which News Corp. plans to launch, or that MSNBC runs a distant third to Fox News Channel, or that News Corp. and NBCU are collaborating on a TV-and-movie distribution Web site, for that matter.
That absence was a glaring one, particularly given the extremes to which NBC News is going to showcase CNBC stars almost daily on "Today" and other NBCU platforms. In addition to Ms. Burnett, CNBC's biggest star, Maria Bartiromo, also was spotlighted Tuesday in a live exchange about the volatile stock market during the first news wrap-up on "Today."
Asked about the omission of even a casual caveat that Mr. Murdoch poses a new business threat to NBCU, a "Today" spokeswoman replied: "This was a piece about Murdoch the person, not an in-depth look at his specific businesses."