Eric Schmidt Slates Murdoch’s Idea to Charge for Internet News

Eric Schmidt, a Google CEO, has told a group of British broadcastings chiefs that Rupert Murdoch’s plan to charge for online news content cannot work, as there is already so much high quality news that is available for free.

However, he does admit that there is room in the market for a provider of niche news stories to charge, mostly in the financial news arena.

“In general these models have not worked for general public consumption because there are enough free sources that the marginal value of paying is not justified based on the incremental value of quantity. So my guess is for niche and specialist markets … it will be possible to do it but I think it is unlikely that you will be able to do it for all news.” Eric Schmidt, 2009.

We reported earlier this year that Murdoch plans to start charging for access to news websites, and that there are reports that News Corps companies have been recruiting more people in the web development field, which supports the opinion that he is already well on the way to releasing a subscription model for news.

The Wall Street Journal, owned by¬† News Corp since 2007, already charges its readers. Many people feel strongly that this model will not work. Why will people pay when so much is available for free? It is of course very good news for bloggers, as in theory the World’s largest online news empire may be shutting its doors to the search engines, and sending traffic our way! Woot! Blogging FTW!

Companies Owned by Murdoch / News Corp:

To get an idea of the size of Rupert Murdoch’s empire, here is a list of some of the newspapers that are owned by News Corp. News Crop also owns many magazines, and has stakes in television, film studios, cable and satellite. Below is a list of online digital media companies (websites) that are run by News Corp.

Australia published by News Limited.

  • The Australian (Nationwide)
  • Community Media Group (16 QLD & NSW suburban/regional titles)
  • Cumberland-Courier Newspapers (26 suburban/commuter titles)
  • The Courier-Mail (Queensland)
  • The Sunday Mail (Queensland)
  • The Cairns Post (Cairns, Queensland)
  • The Gold Coast Bulletin (Gold Coast, Queensland)
  • The Townsville Bulletin (Townsville, Queensland)
  • The Daily Telegraph (New South Wales)
  • The Sunday Telgraph (New South Wales)
  • Herald Sun (Victoria)
  • Sunday Herald Sun (Victoria)


  • Fiji Times (National)
  • Nai Lalakai
  • Shanti Dut

Papua New Guinea

  • Papua New Guinea Post-Courier (National)(62.5%)

UK and Ireland newspapers, published by subsidiaries of News International Ltd.

  • The Sun (published in Ireland as The Irish Sun)
  • News of the World
  • The Sunday Times
  • The Times
  • The Times Literary Supplement
  • thelondonpaper

American newspapers and magazines

  • The New York Post
  • Dow Jones & Company
  • Consumer Media Group
  • The Wall Street Journal – the leading US financial newspaper.
  • Wall Street Journal Europe
  • Wall Street Journal Asia
  • Barron’s – weekly financial markets magazine.
  • Marketwatch – Financial news and information website.
  • Far Eastern Economic Review
  • Enterprise Media Group
  • Dow Jones Newswires – global, real-time news and information provider.
  • Factiva – provides business news and information together with content delivery tools and services.
  • Dow Jones Indexes – stock market indexes and indicators, including the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
  • Dow Jones Financial Information Services – produces databases, electronic media, newsletters, conferences, directories, and other information services on specialised markets and industry sectors.
  • Betten Financial News – leading Dutch language financial and economic news service.
  • Local Media Group
  • Ottoway Community Newspapers – 8 daily and 15 weekly regional newspapers.
  • STOXX (33%)- joint venture with Deutsche Boerse and SWG Group for the development and distribution of Dow Jones STOXX indices.
  • Vedomosti (33%) – Russia’s leading financial newspaper (joint venture with Financial Times and Independent Media).
  • SmartMoney (50%)
  • The Timesledger Newspapers of Queens, New York:
  • Bayside Times, Whitestone Times, Flushing Times, Fresh Meadows Times, Little Neck Ledger, Jackson Heights Times, Richmond Hill Times, Jamaica Times, Laurelton Times, Queens Village Times, Astoria Times, Forest Hills Ledger, Ridgewood Ledger, Howard Beach Times
  • The Courier-Life Newspapers in Brooklyn
  • The Brooklyn Paper
  • Caribbean Life
  • The Times-Herald Record (Middletown, New York)

Websites / Online Digital Media Run by News Corp:

  • Fox Interactive Media
    • – website with sports news, scores, statistics, video and fantasy sports
    • MySpace – Social networking website, general interest website acquired through purchase from Intermix Media
    • MySpace TV, a video site which will host amateur videos, contents from net and studios that competes with Google’s YouTube
    • Photobucket – Photo sharing website.
    • Beliefnet – Largest online faith and spirituality network.
    • Hulu (45%) – online video download site in partnership with NBC Universal and The Walt Disney Company.
    • Flektor – provides Web-based tools for photo and video editing and mashups.
    • IGN Entertainment – Internet entertainment portal (Includes the sites IGN, GameSpy, Rotten Tomatoes, TeamXbox, and
    • Slingshot Labs – web development incubator (Includes the sites DailyFill).
    • Strategic Data Corp – interactive advertising company which develops technology to deliver targeted internet advertising.
    • – sports simulation and prediction website. Also provides fantasy-style sports games to play.
  • – ‘India’s no. 1 Entertainment Portal’
  • ROO Group Inc (5% increasing to 10% with performance targets)
  • REA Group (60.7%)
    • (69.4%), Sky Italia also holds a 30.6% share
    • (50%), News International holds the remaining 50%
      • Sherlock Publications, owner of portal and magazine titles ‘Hot Property’, ‘Renting’ and ‘Overseas’
      •, most comprehensive UK estate agent directory.
    • PropertyLook, property websites in Australia and New Zealand.
    •, home renovation and improvement website.
    • Square Foot Limited, Hong Kong’s largest English Language property magazine and website
  • TadpoleNet Media (10%) Hosts of

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