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Murdoch Family Values: When (and How) Will Rupert & Sons Decide Bill O'Reilly's Fate?

By Published on .

Ad Age "Media Guy" columnist Simon Dumenco's media roundup for the morning of Thursday, April 13:

It's hard to say if this is mostly a More Palace Intrigue edition of your morning media scan (see Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 6, below) or more of a Media About Media About Media installment (Nos. 1, 2, 4 and 5). Anyway, let's get started ...

1. A curious headline on the front page of Breitbart this morning: "Is Bannon in peril? Trump comments worry his populist base." Bannon, of course, is Steve Bannon, who went from being executive chairman of Breitbart News to Trump campaign CEO to White House chief strategist. The story is actually pickup from the Associated Press wire and includes this choice passage:

In an interview with The New York Post, the president said "I like Steve" and called his adviser "a good guy" -- but one who wasn't really all that involved with his winning election campaign. ... In a second interview with The Wall Street Journal, he dismissively called Bannon "a guy who works for me." The unusual public, lukewarm support from the boss has Bannon's friends and advisers worried he will soon be out of a job. But shedding Bannon would be no simple staff shake-up. More than any other member of Trump's orbit, the former media executive and radio host, known as a bare-knuckle political fighter, has a following all his own. He is viewed by many in the conservative core as the ideological backbone in a White House run by a president who boasts of his flexibility.

2. Will this never end? "U.S. media group Meredith Corp has made a preliminary acquisition offer to Time Inc. that fell short of the price expectations of the publisher of Sports Illustrated and Fortune magazines, according to people familiar with the matter," Reuters' Lauren Hirsch and Jessica Toonkel report. "The gap in valuation expectations could represent a setback to Time Inc's efforts to sell itself. It comes after an investor group led by former music executive Edgar Bronfman Jr abandoned its pursuit of Time Inc in March, following a $1.8 billion offer it made late last year."

3. The front page of The New York Times business section this morning has a story headlined "Murdochs Assessing O'Reilly Damage" -- slightly reworked for the web as "The Murdochs Assess the O'Reilly Damage" -- that considers the fate of Fox News star Bill O'Reilly, who is on vacation this week following last week's advertiser exodus from "The O'Reilly Report" in the wake of sexual harrassment allegations. Emily Steel and Michael S. Schmidt report that,

The Murdochs are awaiting the results of an investigation into Mr. O'Reilly's conduct before making a decision about whether he will stay or go, two people briefed on the plan said Wednesday. ... The calculation on whether to keep Mr. O'Reilly is complex and rests in part on a generational divide between Rupert Murdoch, 86, who controls 21st Century Fox, and Lachlan, 45, and James, 44, who have top leadership positions at the company.

4. Here's the new King of Late Night on the latest cover of The Hollywood Reporter:

5. An intense excerpt from TNR's Colbert interview, which was conducted by Marisa Guthrie:

The election felt a little bit like somebody dying because you suddenly have an unreal feeling. It's unreal and yet absolutely as real as possible at the same time. You feel very raw and very base, very awake and dreaming at the same time. We're about 20 minutes into the show -- we did an [80-minute] show -- and there's an hour more with no material, and I'm just talking to people who are catnip to trolls because they're seeing us publicly upset. We had no commercial breaks. I'm like, "I'll just start talking and see what happens." And Chris [showrunner Chris Licht] and I were like, "OK, so that's the show now. The show is me absolutely not hiding at all how I feel about this and just raw." That was what that night was for us. I wouldn't wish it on anybody. (Laughs.) Hardest f---ing thing I ever did.

6. More Twitter fun with Elon! "Tesla CEO Elon Musk sparred Wednesday with a group of investors who called on the company to appoint more independent members to its board of directors," USA Today's Nathan Bomey reports. "The billionaire entrepreneur and innovator said on Twitter the investors 'should buy Ford stock' because 'their governance is amazing,' in a coy reference to the fact that the Dearborn, Mich.-based automaker remains controlled by heirs of founder Henry Ford."

7. And finally, this video titled "How I Made My Own iPhone -- in China" has racked up nearly a million views on YouTube in less than 24 hours. From the video's description: "I built a like-new (but really refurbished) iPhone 6S 16GB entirely from parts I bought in the public cell phone parts markets in Huaqiangbei. And it works!"

Simon Dumenco, aka Media Guy, is an Ad Age editor-at-large. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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