Branson and Murdoch

The New Yorker ran a Profile on Richard Branson in May. (Abstract: Branson’s Luck, May 14, 2007, by Michael Specter.) Branson is the founder of Virgin Group companies. The most interesting story for me from this profile was the train wreck in Britain that became the best PR for Virgin Group. How their attention to details while they made the train paid off, how they had aviation engineers designed the train interior such that inside the train there was no sharp edges. And with that spectacular train derailing, no glass was broken, and there was minimal casualty among the passengers.

Branson’s son is the CEO of Virgin Media.

Last week’s New Yorker ran a story on Rupert Murdoch’s current pursuit of Wall Street Journal. Promises, Promises – What might the Wall Street Journal become if Rupert Murdoch owned it? by Ken Auletta.

The best line from that article:

It seemed ironic that America’s foremost cheerleaders of capitalism were asking for protection from the prerogatives of private ownership.

I finished reading this article on the morning of July 4th. Later that day we went to watch “A Mighty Heart”, the movie where Angelina Jolie was portraying Mariane Pearl – the widow of Daniel Pearl, Wall Street Journal reporter kidnapped and later murdered in Pakistan post 911. The director did a good job keep audience on the edge of their seats even though everyone already knew the ending. But in the mist of frenzy, a quick thought flashed through my mind, “Once Murdoch buys Wall Street Journals. Their reporters will no longer have to face such danger again.”

Murdoch’s son is the CEO of BSkyB.

We used to have Kings, their kingdoms and royal families.

Now we have mighty CEOs, multi-national conglomerate, and their sons who run Telecom/media companies.

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