‘Only One Will Survive’



Denis O’Brien

“In Ireland, there might eventually be only one or two newspapers. The problem now is, there are a lot of management teams in media who don’t see any way of co-operating, and to be honest, they are the cows on the line.”

“People in media and management can’t cooperate, and if you don’t cooperate sending vans, sharing resources, sharing everything, nobody will survive. Or only one will survive.”

“You take INM [Independent News and Media], which has stabilised. I think [INM chairman] Leslie Buckly had a massive impact in doing that, and with great difficulty, and the board met nearly every week. It’s a real worker board, and not a lot of reward.”

“It is the digital side where they made the investment, and that is where the really big bet is. Hopefully, we can maintain a good solid base of readers who buy the paper every day. It is a huge challenge, complicated by the fact that all the news you see about media is written by media, so they are all conflicted.”

“At the end of the day, there has to be pollination between online radio and TV and newspapers. I was up with a business in Canada last week, Rogers, and they have a massive network across all platforms, and whatever business they have is cross-promoted across everything else. They are in radio, television, cable TV, mobiles – they are a mega company. ”

“When I told one of their main guys about the restrictions in Ireland, the guy fell off the chair laughing. He said: “You gotta be kidding me, that is Stone Age stuff. That is completely the antithesis of where the world is moving to.”

Denis O’Brien in an interview with Niall O’Dowd in yesterday’s Sunday Business Post.

The Moriarty Tribunal, Irish Water, or how Mr O’Brien’s purchase of both SiteServ and Blue Ocean Associates came after the IBRC wrote off €64million and €100million in debt from the companies respectively were not discussed.

In addition, there was no mention of the Irish secretary of the National Union of Journalists, Seamus Dooley’s call for the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the future of Ireland’s media.

Good times.

Mr O’Brien’s interview is behind paywall at the Sunday Business Post. It’s also on Irish Central (link below).

Exclusive: Denis O’Brien on Tony O’Reilly, Hillary, Ireland, and making a difference (Niall O’Dowd, Irish Central)

(Photocall ireland)

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27 thoughts on “‘Only One Will Survive’

  1. Mr. T.

    He’s not into news media to make money. He’s in it to control public opinion and influence people towards where he wants them to be… fearful, anxious, paranoid, materialistic, politically ignorant, individualistic consumers.

    All the things needed to make people docile and spending money on things they don’t need and looking at X-Factor 24/7 while their politicians sell the country from under them.

  2. Disasta

    Id complain about him, Ireland and taxes etc but there just seems so many places that are worse. Should I just be happy with my lot and suck up the relatively minor problems here? Or is that defeatist?

    1. Kolmo

      We must always aim for a higher standards in the public realm, beyond reproach, just because something is shit somewhere else, we can look at that shit situation and aim higher, not aim for it…
      A higher standard of honour and honesty in Irish politics would benefit the entire country, not the current management of optics and anti-social gombeenism

  3. Lilly

    Re Tony O ‘Reilly

    “I would have the utmost of sympathy for him and that is genuine.”

    Hahahaha. I have the utmost of admiration for top business man Denis O’Brien and that is genuine ;)

  4. bisted

    ….Denis is a big fan of Hilary…and Hilary is a big fan of Netanyahu…dream team, what could possibly go wrong.

  5. Lilly

    “I have concerns about a lot of the funds that have bought bank loans in Ireland.”

    Of course you do. Denies you the chance to take them over and have them written down.

  6. Zynks

    An ethical question, and here is the scenario: you have a few bob to invest. Would you put it on a guy that is willing to break rules and do whatever it takes to make a profit, or do you put the money on the guy that plays by the book but may have a less impressive history of success?

  7. Kolmo

    If you profit from the morally bankrupt, that makes you morally bankrupt, and any profit is tainted with unethical behavior, I’d rather invest with someone who is smart enough to not have to resort to ‘breaking rules’, or bribery or whatever back slapping greasy fat fingered nonsense that passes as business-as-usual in Ireland..

    1. Zynks

      Someone like Apple maybe?

      Seriously, ethical discussions can become really interesting and you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to corner anyone with strong views.

        1. Zynks

          I did a college module on ethics that was a huge eye opener. It tests your own convictions, and it is amazing how your own values may change very easily depending on the situation that you are placed in. The bottom line, in my view, is that by being too black or white you are only fooling yourself.

          1. zynks

            If you believe your values are non-negotiable, I would be happy to send you a couple of case studies, provided you share the output.

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