You can be replaced, like a piece of furniture

Dateline: Mon 25 Jun 2007

Jim Romenesko of Poynter has posted a story about the New York Times, Bloomberg and other top dogs recruiting talent from the Wall Street Journal.

But does that worry new WSJ owner Rupert Murdoch?

Doubtful, suggests Ken Auletta of the New Yorker. Murdoch believes that all talent is replaceable.

Here is what Auletta recalls: "To try to forestall a Murdoch takeover of New York magazine thirty years ago, about forty writers and editors and art directors went on strike. I was at the magazine then, and, with delusions that I was on a diplomatic mission, led a small delegation to visit Murdoch's outside counsel, Howard Squadron.

"I was certain that, once Murdoch understood that the staff would leave, he would retreat. Squadron listened politely, and replied, 'You don't understand. If you leave, Rupert will replace you like he replaces furniture.'"

At least the implication is that Murdoch hires when someone has left --- under the Gannett flag, the Death Star is down 176-177 souls who will never be replaced.

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