So this is the end of HeatSt.com, the Rupert Murdoch invented News Corp website that did not fall under Fox News or any other particular heading at the octogenarian Aussie’s companies. It was though to be a sop to Louise Mensch, former Member of Parliament who stood up for Murdoch during the hacking hearings. Her reward was a job in America where her husband, Peter, manages the rock band AC/DC.
But Louise turned out to be more of a mensch than anyone thought. Almost as soon as the site began– they couldn’t use www.heatstreet.com because it belonged to a piercing salon in South Carolina– there was trouble. Donald Trump was on the rise. Even conservative Louise was appalled and began attacking him on Twitter. This was counter to the Fox News agenda. Before a years’ time, she was gone.
My Fox sources say that neither Louise nor the two people who succeeded her running Heat St. had any idea what they were doing nor cared about the staff. Mensch declared the site would be like a gadfly, and stand up for world views. But without much traffic, the site quickly started running weirdly salacious stories. Bestiality and pedophilia were specialties. There was a glut of them.
Heatst.com was under the News Corp banner, and apparently FoxNews.com wasn’t interested in it. This was yet another costly failure for the whole of the company– remember The Daily? Oy vey. That online magazine was a catastrophe. My Fox sources say that as long ago as last November Mensch’s right hand man and successor, Noah Kotch, was lobbying Murdoch to put him charge of FoxNews.com. Now he’s got the job; I don’t know what that means for the good people who were working there.
“Wait and see how downmarket Foxnews.com gets,” says a Murdochian source. Up til now, Foxnews.com has tried to be the more thoughtful brother of the fakenews TV network. Expect that to change. Some Heat St-ers will go to Dow Jones Market Watch. Others may open a Manhattan branch of the piercing parlor. Mensch is somewhere near Mars shouting conspiracy theories over the din of AC/DC.