Rupert Murdoch Talks Jeff Zucker's 'More Pop' CNN, Defends Fox News 'Balanced' Motto

2012-29 REP Rupert Murdoch P

$224 million: That's what the Rupert Murdoch conglomerate spent during its fiscal year ending June 30, with the bulk of the money going toward legal fees, say insiders.

In a wide-ranging interview, News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch talked about the changes instituted at CNN during Jeff Zucker's tenure, defended Fox News' motto and reflected on the ever-shifting newspaper industry. 

"You're seeing big changes going on at CNN now, they've got a new head of it, they're popularizing it, if you like," Murdoch said in a video interview presented by WSJ Live, the original web video programming division of News Corp.'s flagship paper The Wall Street Journal.

"Instead of having Ted Turner saying, 'This is the New York Times of the air,' they're not -- they're CNN. They're using helicopters and running around and being much more pop, if you will," Murdoch said (17:40 in below clip, via TVNewser).

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He added about CNN: "I don't say they're politically any different than what they've always been. But they're, just the way they present, they've sharpened up a lot in the last couple of months."

When asked about Fox News, Murdoch defended the "Fair & Balanced" motto.

"I would say we're fair and balanced, [but] people laugh at that and say 'No, no, you're very right wing,'" he said (15:50 in video). "In fact, you'll find just as many Democrats as Republicans on and so on -- whereas you'll only find Democrats on the [other networks] more or less."

The News Corp. chairman also spoke about the changes he's made to The Wall Street Journal since acquiring the paper along with Dow Jones in 2007. The Journal has recently emphasized shorter stories and breaking news in addition to analysis pieces. 

"The Wall Street Journal didn't mind often if they were a day late because they would take the news and they'd spend a lot of time writing long pieces, sometimes very well done," Murdoch said (7:00 in video). "But people would say, 'Let's put this aside and keep it' but never get to it. Now we try and keep it much more urgent, it's about what happened in the last 24 hours."