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News Corporation Near Collapse (1990) & Recovery - Essay Example

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Summary to essay on topic "News Corporation Near Collapse (1990) & Recovery"
News Corporation is now one of the biggest conglomerates in the world. The driving force behind the company and its CEO1 Rupert Murdoch is almost certainly the most influential and powerful media personalities of modern time, commanding a much higher profile than his contemporaries…
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News Corporation Near Collapse (1990) & Recovery
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Download file "News Corporation Near Collapse (1990) & Recovery" to see previous pages... This may have been partly due to the fact that, at the time there was a sharp advertising recession, the worst in two decades (Roger Cohan 1990). The situation was that News Corporation was saddled with massive debts. Alex Burns (2002) reported that Murdoch's News Corp, which remains precariously afloat,
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had a colossal $11 billion in debt worldwide, nearly four times the annual turnover of the entire newspaper industry in Australia. In an effort to save the business a refinancing plan was put in place, but at the last minute, one small bank in Pittsburgh refused to go along with the scheme, demanding repayment of a $10 million loan. (Stephen Galloway and Paula Parisi, 2005)
The task we have set ourselves within this document is to look at four key areas. Firstly to ascertain where the origins of responsibility for the crisis lay. Secondly to investigate how the crisis position was resolved without resorting to the irretrievable act of bankruptcy, and thirdly we will endeavour to examine how, when other notable media giants have failed, Murdoch was able to escape. Finally we shall discover how Murdoch has been able to revitalise the fortunes of News Corporation, successfully transforming itself into one of the top five hundred global TNC's2
Behind every corporate disaster, there is inevitably an attempt to apportion blame. With the News Corporation situation, the majority of financial media and other experts tended to place most of the blame at the feet of the management. But others were just as culpable.

Management's role
Rupert Murdoch is that inveterate breed, a corporate gambler. He thrives on risks and the bigger the stakes, the bigger the buzz and the bigger the payout. (Stuart Crainer.1999). In the 1980's he spent considerable amounts on acquisitions for his empire. Whilst the risks he took at that time are reaping benefit now, at the time they would, to any conservative financier, have seemed unacceptable.
Perhaps a better example of how Murdoch chooses to live and do business comes in the events, which led up to the great credit crunch of 1990. These began in Murdoch's American acquisition spree of the middle 1980s. He bought the 20th Century Fox network in the US in 1985, the Metromedia chain of television stations the same year, and then in 1986 launched Fox, the first national TV network since 1959. He didn't have the money to pay for all of this, so he raised it by revaluing his company under Australian accounting3 rules, raising its worth from $166 million to $1.6 billion (Lanchester)
The most costly corporate move Murdoch made in the late eighties was the investment in Sky. At that stage it was an enormous drain on the businesses cash resources. At the time the satellite subsidiary was posting substantial year on year losses. Despite Murdoch's somewhat dubious adeptness at moving funds around the various and numerous group subsidiaries to cover overextended cash flow positions, Sky had a cash thirst which could not be quenched without dramatically impacting on News Corporations liquidity, seriously reducing its ability to cover other commitments. Thus when the time came to repay $2 billion of bank debt, there were insufficient resources available to meet these contracted commitments.

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