With the news biz in obvious (and some might say terminal) disarray, of course folks in the industry will be seeking out ways to stay afloat in the age of the e-reader -- and it's long been rumored that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is looking to launch a device of its own (if by "long" you mean "since early April
or thereabouts"). When asked yesterday if this was the case, Murdoch answered: "I don't think that's likely. We're looking and talking
to a lot of laboratories and big companies around the world like Sony, Fujitsu, Samsung. We're all working on wireless readers for books or for newspapers or for magazines. I think they're a year or two away, being marketed in a mass way, high quality ones. And we will be absolutely neutral. We're very happy to have our products distributed over any device provided it's only going to subscribers who are paying for it." Of course, the man may have some sort of diabolical scheme up his sleeve (when doesn't he, really?), but for the time being, he says, the Wall Street Journal
is doing "very well... you've got the wallstreetjournal.com and you pay for it. And there is 1.25 million people nearly who are doing that. And we get a lot of advertising with it. It's a big business for us." So it's more likely that we'll see more News Corp papers adopting an online subscription model before the advent of any Fox News e-ink device. But if it does get in the hardware business, we'll gladly shell out for a Glenn Beck signature model. But only if it's ironic.