What Got More (and Less) Coverage Than Murdoch

A Boy Wizard Sure Drew a Lot of Attention

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There's been no shortage of ink spilled over Rupert Murdoch's conquest, but the media mogul still didn't quite trump Paris Hilton, Steve Jobs or Harry Potter when it came to getting journalists' attention.

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Anyone who toils in media or marketing has no doubt felt like they spent the last three months talking, listening and reading about nothing other that Mr. Murdoch's pursuit of Dow Jones. But is the rest of the world as obsessed with one old media mogul's quest to own a daily newspaper?

Not quite.

While journalists are understandably drawn to a story that involves ringing the death knell for one of their most respected institutions, the media did still manage to devote a whole lot more of its air time, web pages and ink to topics other than Mr. Murdoch. Not that the topics in question were all that high-minded, mind you.

Ad Age asked Carma International, a media-analysis and research firm whose database includes the major newswires, magazines, trade publications, nearly 500 major online news sites, over 700 major newspapers, 210 local broadcast markets and all national broadcast and cable-TV news, to put the Murdoch coverage in perspective for us.

Mr. Murdoch's quest, with 9,500 news stories, got more attention than contaminated toothpaste from China, the CNN-YouTube presidential debate and Al Gore's LiveEarth concert for global warming. But the pardoning of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby by President George W. Bush got twice the news hole as News Corp.'s efforts to secure a deal to pry Dow Jones from the grip of the Bancroft family. The debut of Apple's iPhone got more than three times the coverage as the Journal's journey. Paris Hilton -- a favorite of Mr. Murdoch's New York Post -- and her incarceration was the topic of more than 41,000 stories on TV, in print and online. But even Paris couldn't compete with a boy wizard. Harry Potter, thanks to the double whammy release of Time Warner's fifth film and the final book of the series, was the subject of more than 65,500 news stories. (No word on how many of those included "spoilers.")
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