Adage Columnist Predicts Hackergate Will Do In Murdoch

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Advertising Age media columnist Simon Dumenco is predicting that the current flap in the U.K. over alleged widespread hacking of the voicemails of celebrities and politicians by Rupert Murdoch's tabloid News of the World will serve as an "epic legal distraction" for Murdoch just as he attempts to erect paywalls at two of his London newspapers, the Times and the News of the World. Dumenco foresees the paywall scheme failing, since any exclusive reports of interest appearing in the two newspapers will undoubtedly be picked up by other free news sites. "While Murdoch attempts to do the impossible ... he's also personally getting entangled in his own Watergate, a scandal that could very well consume his attention until he dies," he writes. Dumenco predicts that the NoW scandal and the presumed paywall failure will cause Murdoch to shutter and/or sell his newspapers. "This will happen a lot sooner than the increasingly mortal Rupert Murdoch could ever imagine," Dumenco forecasts.



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