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.

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.
– by David Smith, Economics Editor or the Sunday Times (London).