Newscorp pulls OJ Simpson broadcast & book

Posted By on November 21, 2006

NWS 10 day chart
From a public relation perspective, News Corporation (NWS) is at least a company that listens to its customers and shareholders. They are obviously listening to the many outraged broadcast viewers (and shareholders) who are upset with the latest book deal and television program featuring OJ Simpson. Simpson worked a book deal with the Newscorp owned subsidiary, publisher Harper Collins, and was interviewed for a two part television “If I did it” special. The program was to be shown on Fox affiliate stations on November 27 and 29 in coordination with the book release. The fiasco was considered by most to be in extraordinarily poor taste, particularly for the families of the murdered Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman. Newscorps CEO, Rupert Murdoch made a statement today while pulling the plug on the book and program, “I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project. We are sorry for any pain this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown-Simpson.”

Many affiliates had already said they would not be running the special due to public outcry and even employees from Newscorp owned FoxNews “blasted” their own management in regard to this project. High profile personalities like Bill O’Reilly and Geraldo Rivera made strong statements directed at advertisers and solicited the public to call and write their employer. O’Reilly vowed to boycott any company that advertised during the airing … “If any company sponsors the TV program, I will not buy anything that company sells–ever.” Rivera made similar statements including that he would “bash this project every minute I have the opportunity to bash this project.”
one year nwsFrom a business perspective, the huge publishing and broadcasting company has performed well over past year, but had a slightly negative move even though the stock market has continued to move up. (see DJI vs NWS graph) How much is related to negative PR???

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Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.