Rupert Murdoch titles missed a trick with lack of Bradley Wiggins coverage
Ian Burrell is Assistant Editor and Media Editor at The Independent, i paper and Independent on Sunday. He covers news from the whole media sector from television, press, radio and advertising to technology. His weekly column on the media appears every Monday in The Independent and i paper. He also writes on media, music and culture, including long-form pieces for The Independent’s Saturday magazine and the Independent on Sunday’s magazine, New Review. He is a regular presenter of BBC Radio 4’s What The Papers Say and a specialist commentator to Monocle 24 radio. He has contributed to most major broadcast outlets including BBC television and radio, CNN, Sky News, Al Jazeera and LBC. He has also written on media for GQ magazine. Ian has been reporting on the media industry for The Independent for more than a decade. Previously he was the newspaper’s Home Affairs Editor. He worked at The Sunday Times for five years, including as a member of the investigative Insight team, covering stories on political funding, industrial espionage and the arms industry. Previously he worked in ITV for London Weekend Television, on a weekly current affairs programme presented by Danny Baker. Ian trained at the Birmingham Post & Mail and was Regional Reporter of the Year in Press Gazette’s national awards.
Monday 23 July 2012
Wiggomania belatedly took hold at News Corp. After minimal interest in Britain's most successful ever cyclist during the early stages of the Tour de France, Rupert Murdoch's media empire seemed slow to realise that Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins was one of them.
Ramping up coverage last week, The Times cleared the decks on Friday with Wiggins dominating the front and back pages. The Sun thought up a typical gimmick, offering readers a cut-out version of the cyclist's mod sideburns, while Sky News tried to move through the gears and catch up with rival TV coverage of a sportsman who carries the company's branding.
Like the vain pursuit of Wiggins by Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali, it was all too little too late. The Guardian had secured a coup by signing up the cyclist as a columnist weeks before the race. And despite BSkyB's vast spending on sports coverage, the Tour de France rights were cannily snapped up by ITV4 and Eurosport. This despite former BSkyB chairman James Murdoch's enthusiastic backing of cycling to the point of sponsoring not just Team Sky but also Boris Johnson's Sky Ride scheme.
What a missed opportunity for News Corp! It's not as if it couldn't do with some good publicity.
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