Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Rupert's Bronx Foray

The New York Times reports today that Rupert Murdoch's News. Corp. has quietly bought two small weeklies in the Bronc.

This is an odd development, until viewed in conjunction with his 2006 acquisition of community newspapers in the borough of Queens, and his bid for Dow Jones -- which would give him the Ottaway newspaper group.

This could be of no major consequence, or it could mean that Murdoch aims to significantly increase his holdings of newspapers in smaller markets. Acquisition of Ottaway would give him papers in markets like Middletown, New York. Small-market papers have monopoly status and, sometimes, can be virtual money machines.

Ottaway is one of the better small chains in the country, but many newspaper chains are simply dreadful. So its hard to get too upset about a Murdoch foray into a segment of the newspaper business that can't get much worse.

© 2007 Gary Weiss. All rights reserved.

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