Who’ll touch the Sky?
THE CAMPAIGN to get at least an investigation of whether it's a good
idea for the Murdoch family to own Sky outright continues its rollercoaster ride. The communications regulator OFCOM has recommended to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt that the Murdochs' News Corporation buying the 61 per cent of it does not already own could threaten media plurality. So he should order a six-month investigation. Sky is now
making so much that the price of the stake rises every week.
Jeremy Cough has delayed his decision, giving the Murdochs time to come up with a face-saving formula: mayybe selling Sky News - a problem, given how it is subsidised by Sky - or an independent editorial board. That worked so well with the Times, didn't it?
As the Freelance went to press,Rupert Murdoch's intervention didn't seem to have dampened down opposition. Firing another alleged phone-tapper and a couple of offensive football commentators hadn't done the trick. Concern continues over the closeness of contacts between government and News Corporation: did the Prime Minister, for example, in fact dine with Murdoch executive Rebecca Brooks over Christmas? The online group 38 Degrees delivered around 40,000 signatures to Hunt pointing out that he is not impartial, and you can still sign at www.38degrees.org.uk.