Last week, John Gapper reported (in the FT) on the underreported death of Reinhard Mohn, founder of publishing behemoth Bertelsmann.
The piece strikes an elegiac note, revisiting the well established old media struggling to come to terms with new media meme. But two more recent stories would tend to suggest that the era of the mogul are far from over.
Yesterday brought us news that Google’s plans to create its own Library of Babel are being opposed by Angela Merkel. The extent to which this old school protectionist step was inspired by her good friend, and heir to the Bertelsmann dynasty Liz Mohn, can hardly be ignored.
Meanwhile, in yesterday’s Organ Grinder, Peter Preston gave us an insight into just how James Murdoch’s influence has informed the proposed Times+ online subscription platform, toward implementing a Berlin wall round the News Corp empire. Murdoch Junior’s tirade against the BBC and Ofcom in August have led some to the conclusion that a Faustian pact has already been signed between the Murdoch empire and the Tories with a view to carving up the future media market.
Others may speculate, but one thing’s for sure – there’s life in the old media dynasties yet.