Murdoch pops out to the newsagent

Rupert Murdoch has been mixing with his distributors. It's a good habit to be in.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

It emerged this week that the mighty Rupert Murdoch has been out treading the pavements, leaving his News Corp command post in New York earlier this year to walk into a newsagent in West London and question the owner about her distribution concerns.

Back in July, when News Corp's British operation took over the delivery of its papers from its former distributors, the self-described ‘billionaire tyrant' wandered in to Jads newsagents in Turnham Green to ask owner Daxa Solanki about sales, deliveries and any major problems she was having. It's unknown whether he took a punt on a scratch card while he was there.

For the record Mrs Solanki had few complaints, although she did point out that News International's deliveries weren't as efficient as the previous wholesaler's services. It's a bold statement to make to the mogul, albeit far easier when you have absolutely no idea who you're talking to.

Some may see such a personal appearance by a man of Murdoch's stature as a sign of the grave state of the newspaper industry: after all, if the Dirty Digger is getting down amongst it then things must really be awry. You'll know it's really time to panic when he gets on his Grifter and starts chucking his papers at people's doorsteps himself.

But according to News International, it was all far less dramatic. Murdoch simply wanted to see for himself what life was like for newsagents and to understand their problems. Indeed, it's an attitude that other managers would do well to heed. At times like these, there are countless benefits to going out there yourself to get to know exactly what's happening on the ground.

If the world's most influential newspaper owner starts personally quizzing his distributors, it's a sure sign it's time to start leading from the front. Especially if you get to pick up a Lottery ticket, a Double Decker and a copy of MT at the same time.

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