I have known of Rupert Murdoch and his methods since he took over The Times in 1981.
I was a new group head in Leo Burnett, the advertising agency, and the paper was one of my accounts. I wrote the line ' Have you ever wished you were better informed?' Sounds clunky now, but we didn't have Wikipedia in those days. (And schoolboys called William ran round in ragged flannel shorts with a catapult stuffed in their pockets.)
Brian Todd (if I remember correctly) was the marketing manager. A chain-smoking fifty-year old on the business side of the business, and so derided by his then editorial colleagues - there being a serious split between editorial and business employees - was systematically humiliated by Murdoch's henchmen. And I mean humiliated, I could recount the details, before he was handed his cards. Why? The word 'marketing', i.e. selling, was a cardinal sin according to the bible that was Murdoch. Out went Brian, ousted by the king of marketing, in a manner that would amount to grievous abuse today.
Even at my then young age, and so not over-sympathetic with 50+ men, I was appalled. I have waged a one-man war against the owner ever since. He is brutal.
I don't believe Murdoch's downfall is imminent. He is a man who bathes in oil.
I met him once. I was in a meeting a few years ago with his daughter, Liz, at Sky when he popped his head around the door. If only I had a gun, I thought, the world would be better.
I am not joking.