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Irwin Stelzer – Economist

Irwin Stelzer is a senior fellow and director of the Hudson Institute’s economic policy studies group. Prior to joining the Hudson Institute in 1998, Stelzer was a resident scholar and director of regulatory policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He also is the U.S. economic and political columnist for The Sunday Times (London,) a contributing editor of The Weekly Standard, a member of the publication committee of National Affairs, and a consultant, advising clients in the U.S. and UK on market strategy, pricing and antitrust issues, environmental policy, and regulatory matters.

He has been a member of the Publication Committee of The Public Interest, the advisory board of the American Antitrust Institute, the board of the Regulatory Policy Institute (Oxford), and was appointed by President George W. Bush to the advisory board of the U.S. Trade Representative. He is editor of Neoconservatism, and with John H. Shenefield co-authored The Antitrust Laws: A Primer. The Institute of Economic Affairs published his Lectures on Regulatory and Competition Policy. His The Murdoch Method: Observations on Rupert Murdoch’s Management of a Media Empire has recently been published in the U.S. and the UK.

Stelzer founded National Economic Research Associates, Inc. (NERA) in 1961 and served as its president until a few years after its sale in 1983 to Marsh & McLennan. He also has served as a managing director of the investment banking firm of Rothschild Inc. and a director of the Energy and Environmental Policy Center at Harvard University.

Academic Credentials

His academic career includes appointments at Cornell University, the University of Connecticut, New York University, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has been elected a Visiting Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. He is a former member of the Litigation and Administrative Practice Faculty of the Practicing Law Institute. He served on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Visiting Committee for the Department of Economics, and has been a teaching member of Columbia University’s Continuing Legal Education Programs.

Stelzer received his bachelor’s and Master of Arts degrees from New York University. He earned his doctorate in economics from Cornell University.

Author of The Murdoch Method

Following Murdoch’s journey from a small-town newspaperman to a globe-dominating media mogul, a clear-eyed examination of Rupert Murdoch’s business philosophies and management techniques, from a key advisor of thirty-five years.

After having worked closely with the legendary media titan for thirty-five years, Irwin Stelzer is uniquely positioned to evaluate Murdoch’s media empire through periods of rapid expansion and acquisitions, times of financial and regulatory stress, and political battles in Britain and America. Stelzer helped plan important company conclaves and assisted with Murdoch’s speeches, at least one of which was responsible for having News Corp barred by the Chinese regime from doing business in that country.

Advance Comments

“Great insights into the complex Murdoch man and equally great lessons for risk taking and management.” 
—Barry Diller, Chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp and Expedia, Inc.

“The author’s close relationship with Rupert Murdoch gave him his biggest advantage as a biographer—special insights into the man and his motives—but also his biggest problem: the temptation to be too lenient when criticism was objectively justified. Irwin Stelzer has traversed this minefield with a sense of humor, great writing skill, and a sincere effort to achieve scholarly detachment.” 
—David Green, Chief Executive of Civitas

“A fascinating recounting of the myriad complex transactions and organizational approach Rupert utilized in building a great entrepreneurial media empire. Relentless energy!” 
—John Malone, Chairman of Liberty Media

“Want to be a newspaper proprietor? A movie mogul? An icon? Irwin Stelzer’s inside knowledge shows us how it’s done.” 
—Maurice Saatchi, co-founder of Saatchi and Saatchi

“Anyone who reads Irwin Stelzer’s newspaper columns, will not be surprised that this account of The Murdoch Method is both instructive and entertaining. It takes the independence and acuity of a friend—and at the same time an arm’s-length adviser of someone of Irwin Stelzer’s standing—to convey brilliantly an analysis of the risks that Murdoch has taken on the road to success.” 
—Lord Salisbury, former leader of the House of Lords

The Sunday Times Review:

The Murdoch Method: Notes on Running an Empire by Irwin Stelzer — a view from the inside …. In writing this review, I must start by declaring a couple of very obvious interests. I have known Irwin Stelzer for very many years and, indeed, have shared a page with him in the Sunday Times Business section for decades. And Rupert Murdoch is, of course, executive chairman of News Corp, ultimate owners and publishers of this newspaper.

Read more.

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To try and crack the Murdoch method is some task. The author has done his best and produced an interesting book. The result however will, I fear, be of little use to those wishing to copy the method for it is a reflection of the man. The method will not work for others.

Irwin Stelzer has known Rupert Murdoch since 1978. Stelzer was asked by Murdoch to give him some economic advice. He did and became a consultant and friend. What then, according to Stelzer, is the method? It is about: a view of the world that sees it as an arena in which ‘them’ are opposed to ‘us’, the
Establishment and the unions being prime examples of ‘them’. Other examples include the BBC; liberals; media-industry elites; snobs; Wall Street analysts and investment bankers; and governments that overregulate.

In addition, Murdoch is willing to take risks. He took on the print unions and saved our newspaper industry. There are many anecdotes in this entertaining and unconventional memoir. The author does not forget to mention the MySpace fiasco of 2005. It was eventually sold at a loss. Facebook prospered. The satellite
television speech of 1993 that led to China banning all satellite dishes is also examined. It proved to be rather costly.

This book certainly sheds light on the ‘method’ but much remains in the shadows.
-Dr. Barry Clayton, Retired Army Colonel. University tutor. First degree in Economics followed by a PGCE and an MA in War Studies. PHD in American/Soviet nuclear strategy.

Not a villain, a press hero

Stephen Pollard reviews a biography of Rupert Murdoch by his long standing adviser, Irwin Stelzer

If you’re looking for a way to ensure you are regarded as beyond the pale by polite society, here’s one fail-safe method: say something nice about Rupert Murdoch. I did just that on Question Time a fewyears ago. Indeed, I went further: I said he was one of the most admirable 􀄅gures of the past 50 years.

The look on my fellow panellists’ faces will always remain with me — a sort of bewildered horror, as if they had just witnessed something both incomprehensible and disgusting.

But while the caricature Murdoch induces apoplexy in so many minds, the real Murdoch is a man who has done more to democratise news, sport and leisure than any of his opponents.

Take Sky News, which was revolutionary when it started but has transformed how every news organisation operates. Indeed, take Sky itself, which changed the broadcasting landscape, not least in how sport moved from being an occasional treat, con􀄅ned mainly to Grandstand, World of Sport and some recorded evening highlights, to full and constant coverage of almost every conceivable sporting activity.

Or The Times, which Murdoch has for many years not merely propped up but lavished with care. And, yes, the Sun —sneeringly dismissed by bien pensants but a newspaper of genius in the way it presents stories with 􀄇air and accuracy.

Murdoch might be regarded as the devil incarnate to some, but to anyone with an open mind he is one of the most compelling and fascinating figures of our time.

Which is why Irwin Stelzer’s book about the man he has advised for over three decades, The Murdoch Method: Notes on Running an Empire,(Atlantic, £20) is so fascinating. Less a straightforward biography than reflections on Murdoch’s life and career, Stelzer seeks to identify the “Murdoch Method”.

It is a method that has created an empire with more than 100,000 employees and annual revenue of $36 billion (in 2017).

Even Stelzer’s asides bring insight. The story of how Murdoch’s obsession with Sky came within hours of destroying that empire is well known, for example, but Stelzer points out that Murdoch was known for always keeping his word — a trait that many of his rivals did not share and that often worked to his advantage.

It is ironic that one of the causes of the hatred for Murdoch is his role in breaking the print unions in the Wapping dispute. But their corrupt and damaging grip on Fleet Street had to be broken if newspapers were to have a future.

Murdoch, in other words, saved not only his own papers but an entire industry. I, for one, am grateful.