ustxtxb_obs_1977_01_28_50_00025-00000_000.pdf

Page 8

by

terminations. However, House Speaker Bill Clayton has said any reallocation of space will be put off until after the Legislature adjourns. In his opinion, Hill said any rules on allocation “must be reasonable and neither written nor applied to effect a content-based discrimination among news organizations or reporters.” Murdoch empire Considerable national attention has been focused on the sensationalist San Antonio News resulting from a rash of publicity on Australian publisher Rupert Murdoch, who owns the News and its sister publication, The Express. Murdoch has received extensive coverage because of the recent expansion of his media empire to include the New York Post and the New York Magazine Co., making him a major figure in the nation’s top media market. After controversial but financially successful publishing ventures in Australia and England, he bought the San Antonio papers in 1973. Subsequently he launched the National Star, a weekly tabloid sold in supermarkets and drugstores \(and stuck inside the Sunday But Murdoch was just getting started. Late last year he bought the New York Post, that city’s only afternoon daily, from Dorothy Schiff for a reported $32.5 million. The Post, founded by Alexander Hamilton in 1801, had been one of the few remaining independently owned, major city dailies. There was speculation that Murdoch would apply the same flashy formula to the Post as he had to the San Antonio News and his London newspaper, the Sun. Some of the more sensational News headlines and other examples of its lowest-commondenominator journalism were cited in articles about Murdoch’s takeover. A New York Times headline read, “Texas Paper Thrives on Violence.” Murdoch insisted that he would continue the Post as a serious newspaper, while making it much more lively. He pointed out that one of his Australian papers \(The Ausis a serious journal. But even before he had actually assumed control of the Post, Murdoch struck again, purchasing controlling interest in New York Magazine Co., publishers of New York, New West, and The Village Voice. This move shocked the media world and was furiously resisted by Clay Felker, president and founder of New York, and by some of his top staffers. Felker had built New York from a Sunday supplement in the now-defunct Herald-Tribune into the nation’s trendiest magazine. Along the way he acquired the Voice \(not without some oplast year began publishing New West, a California version of New York. Now Murdoch has added the three publications to his string, bringing the total to 87 papers, 13 magazines, and 7 broadcasting properties in three countries. Some of the key staff members from the magazines have quit, expressing strong oppositionciting the San Antonio News as an exampleto Murdoch’s style of publication. Murdoch says his British publications are geared to their audiences, with the splashier publications aimed at the “lower strata.” By implication he seems to be saying the same about San Antonio. Interestingly, during all the hubbub about the New York purchases and the resultant attention on the San Antonio papers, the News has been considerably more restrained than usual. This may have been a deliberate effort to downplay Murdoch’s penchant for sensationalism. The News’ circulation has increased significantly under Murdoch, but the Hearstowned Light, once Texas’ gaudiest paper, still is the top seller in San Antonio. There is, of course, considerable irony in this increasing foreign ownership of the American press. For years American businesses have been heavily involved in other nations. But now with Murdoch’s ascendance and the network of more than 50 papby the Canadian-British Thomson Newspapers, foreign interests are becoming a potent force in the U.S. communications industry. Can the Shah of Iran be far behind? A Connally column?’ John Connally is reportedly considering beginning a regular newspaper column and radio report, in the manner of Ronald Reagan. Roger Summers of the Fort Worth StarTelegram reports that some Connally backers think the column and/or radio program “would be a great way for Connally to keep his views and himself before the public.” Reagan recently resumed his radio broadcasts, which are heard on several Texas stations. The President’s men James Fallows, 27, a contributing editor of Texas Monthly and The Washington Monthly, will be President Carter’s chief speech writer. Griffin Smith Jr., senior editor of Texas Monthly, has also been asked to join Carter’s speech-writing staff. Before joining the Carter campaign staff last summer, Fallows was a prolific contributor to U.S. magazines. He wrote frequently on Texas, and his profiles of media figures like Joe Kraft, Bill Moyers, and Mary McCarthy have been well received. Perhaps his most memorable piece was “What Did You Do in the Class War, Daddy?” \(Washington Monthly, thoughtful recollection of how he and his Harvard classmates in the late 1960s avoided the military draft, thus leaving the conscriptionand the dyingto working-class youth. Smith’s departure is a serious loss for Texas Monthly. As a stalwart of the editorial staff, he has been noted for his lengthy articles on government, the legal profession, and state politicos. Smith, 35, is a Rice graduate with a law degree from Texas. He has had previous Washington experience on the staff of Sen. J. W. Fuibright. Advertised violence “Quest,” “Starsky and Hutch,” and “Baretta” are the most violent programs on television, according to a recent study made by the National Citizens Committee for Broadcasting, which monitors network programs. The NCCB reports that during the fall TV seasons, Chevrolet sponsored more violent shows than any other company. However, a Chevy spokesman blames the networks. “We might have just one participating spot in a whole raft of programs. I think this study is an indictment of the networks, not the sponsors. We just buy what’s available.” For the preceding quarter, “SWAT” and the “Rookies” led the violence hit parade. Sponsors most associated with violence were Tegrin Shampoo, Burger King gate Palmolive Products. NBC consistently leads the networks in most-violent programming. As for the least-violent programs, “CPO Sharkey” and “McLean Stevenson” led the list. The Bob Newhart and Mary Tyler Moore shows are always among the least violent. Among the sponsors associated with the least-violent television are Aramid Tires, Oscar Mayer, Procter & Gamble, Frito Lay, Chrysler, and Holiday Inn. One of the nation’s largest TV advertisers, General Foods, has gone on record with its opposition to televised mayhem. H.P. January 28, 1977 25