Murdoch not interested in buying NBC

'We like startups,' the News Corp. CEO said

Rupert Murdoch said he isn't interested in acquiring NBC or even pieces of it, though he did give credit to USA Network for being a "mature channel" that "makes a lot of money."

"But why pay a high multiple for that when you can't work out how you can double its profit every five years?" he said Friday in an interview with Neil Cavuto on the Fox Business Network. "We like startups, like Fox News."

When Cavuto reminded Murdoch that NBC scored a ratings bonanza with the Olympics, the News Corp. CEO countered, "I don't think they made much money."

He also said of his disinterest in purchasing NBC -- not that it's even for sale -- that the local-stations business is unappealing.

"As far as we are concerned -- and we compete with them -- that whole local station market is performing very badly at the moment," he said.

In the candid interview, Murdoch also blamed a prominent Democrat for the nation's economic woes and called presidential nominee Barack Obama's economic ideas "naive" and "old fashioned."

The executive said the early endorsement of Republican Sen. John McCain for president from his company's New York Post was the right move.

"I like Sen. Obama very much," Murdoch said, just before chastising him for promoting protectionism that would lead to inflation and strained relationships worldwide.

"His policy is really very, very naive, old-fashioned, 1960s," he said.

Obama wasn't the only Democrat Murdoch took to task Friday; he also blamed Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank for the subprime mortgage meltdown that has been wreaking havoc on the U.S. economy.

"This started 15 years ago with Barney Frank and people pushing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make a lot of bad loans," he said. "It became a racket."

Murdoch also complimented Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on his plan for fixing the credit crisis, then warned that Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., could delay or kill the plan by "trying to guarantee bad loans to people who should never have made them."

He also predicted that big changes are afoot in the financial world. Gone, perhaps, are the days when departing CEOs with questionable performance records leave with monstrous pay packages.

Credit, too, needs to get used to new rules.

"I think the financial model will be very different," Murdoch said. "Banks will be less leveraged. They are going to get back into lending money normally. You know, we were in a crisis here over the last two weeks, where the banks were so uncertain for themselves, they would not even lend to each other."
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