Murdoch might cast envious eyes at the 129-year-old, family-owned Hearst Corporation which has built an unrivalled multi-media business, not least by investing widely in long-term partnerships and joint ventures. Last year, Hearst increased its revenue by 6% to almost $11bn in what was the fifth consecutive year of record revenue and profits. Its revenue has grown by 140% since 2006.
In the 1990s, publishers everywhere put all their content online for free and – ahead of any digital-only competition – managed to train consumers not to pay for news. It is difficult now to believe that – a decade before the iPad – newspapers were once captivated by a dream scenario: without the expense of printing and distribution, advertising alone would be enough to support journalism.