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“..Gemstar-TV Guide, a company controlled by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., has also been struggling with declining circulation, although it continues to be sold on newsstands … It has launched a TV Guide channel in the United States, with celebrity news and gossip and has tried affixing free DVDs to its newsstand copies in a bid to attract customers and stay relevant.”

Is TV Guide Murdoch’s achilles heel, a reminder that he has feet of clay too? The idea he’s still trying to revive this bag of dinosaur bones has a poignancy to it.

Having paid 3 billion in 1988 for a 25 year old turkey (even then), will Murdoch never forgive himself? And what did Murdoch get for 3bn – 3 magazines? And oh yes, a ticket into the American Club. Three billion dollars must be just the highest joining fee for any club anywhere in the universe. TV Guide was his greatest error, responsible for nearly sinking him and his company in 1991. He could have had his successful American company without it. Murdoch can’t forget TV Guide.

So when people say his ongoing spat with Yuen and Gemstar (TV-Guide) is all personal I’m almost prepared to believe them, except under that red-grey-brown – whatever hair of his, Murdoch’s lethal cells are still working on more than one objective. When an old media hand like Murdoch thinks of new media, it’s like a 30 year old cobra with a small mammal in its sightline. The body may be an ironing board but the instinct for the kill is still ticking over.


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