Cristiano Ronaldo, Piers Morgan, and the Murdoch Media Machine
One interview - loads of stories for multiple outlets owned by the same company.
On Sunday night, news broke that Piers Morgan had recorded an interview with Cristiano Ronaldo for TalkTV. It focuses on the tensions between the football superstar and his club, Manchester United. The pre-released clips indicate that it’s a pretty explosive interview, and likely to be of some interest if you are a football fan who needs a quick hit in the week before the World Cup starts.
While whatever Ronaldo was to say on this subject (or any other) would garner widespread coverage, what has powered the take-up of this particular interview is having the full force of the Murdoch media empire behind it. The conversation, of course, features on the front page of today’s Sun, which also includes a column from Morgan discussing it. There’s a story in The Times too. On Sunday evening, I turned on TalkSport, the sister station to TalkTV, expecting to listen to a regular episode of “Danny Kelly’s Trans Europe Express”, a fantastic radio programme that discusses football leagues and players from around the continent. The usual coverage was sidelined mid-show for a discussion with various pundits about the interview, with fans also phoning in to give their opinion. There are stories on the TalkSport website too, with on-air discussion continuing.
You get the picture. The only Murdoch-owned outlet in either the UK or the USA where I couldn’t find immediately find any coverage of the Ronaldo interview was the Wall Street Journal!