UBS Conference: Robert Thomson calls the site known for its “listicles” a “strange place”
News Corp’s Chief Executive, Robert Thomson, had some choice words for the staff over at BuzzFeed during the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference on Tuesday.
“There is so much rubbish that is passed off as journalism,” Thomson told the audience during a Q&A session. “There’s a numerical limit to numerical headlines like: ’17 Ways to Keep Your Cat Happy.'”
Thomson is clearly not a fan of BuzzFeed, known for it’s “listicles.” “We’re going through a phase of popularization of so-called journalism.”
Thomson promised to invest more money in real journalism, giving people more quality and less quantity, “because advertisers will ask themselves, ‘Do I really want to be seen next to THAT story? It’s pretty garish. You go on to Buzzfeed and you’re in a strange place. It’s a really strange place.”
During the Q&A session Thomson touched on the company’s move to become “a more digital company and more global company,” since its split in two in June of last year.
“People are saying what are you doing with the money? Why haven’t you bought companies?” Thomson told the audience. “Had we gone about a frenzy rush and acquired five companies in six months, we’d be having a much more different and difficult conversation right now.”
Last year, News Corp divided its assets, with most of its television and film scooped up into a new company, 21st Century Fox. About 130 newspapers (including the Wall Street Journal), formed the other new company, which kept the old name of News Corp.
In August, there was one company that 21st Century Fox was interested in buying: Time Warner. Ultimately the company withdrew its $75 billion offer after Time Warner’s board refused to engage in talks.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly identified News Corp as the company bidding for Time Warner. TheWrap regret the error.