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Internet Era Means the End for Media Barons

The Guardian reports that Rupert Murdoch sounded the death knell for the era of the media baron, comparing today's internet pioneers with explorers such as Christopher Columbus and John Cabot and hailing the arrival of a "second great age of discovery".

The News Corp media magnate nurtures a long-held distaste for "the establishment" but last night confided to one of the few clubs to which he does belong - The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers - that he may be among the last of a dying breed. "Power is moving away from the old elite in our industry - the editors, the chief executives and, let's face it, the proprietors," said Mr Murdoch, having flown into London from New York after celebrating his 75th birthday on Saturday.

Far from mourning its passing, he evangelised about a digital future that would put that power in the hands of those already launching a blog every second, sharing photos and music online and downloading television programmes on demand. "A new generation of media consumers has risen demanding content delivered when they want it, how they want it, and very much as they want it," he said. Indicating he had little desire to slow down despite his advancing years, he told the 603-year-old guild that he was looking forward, not back.

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