Dear Ms. Knowles,
May I call you Beyoncé? My wife Wendi is a big fan of yours. Her iPod is stacked with your albums. Her favorite song is "Single Ladies (Put a ring on it)." Let me tell you, I did.
My reason for writing is Wendi. She thinks I need to capitalize on the "Fox Look" by starting a fashion line. You probably already know this, but I am chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp., parent company of Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Post, and I thankfully, finally, offloaded MySpace — my little social networking mistake! — onto that guy who wants to bring "sexy back," and his partners. OK, so one of my non-news investments might have failed, but I don't want to let a $580 million erratum distract me from a potentially much bigger payoff.
Wendi suggested calling the line "RuMur" or "House of Murdoch" — much like your company, House of Dereon. I also like the ring of "Rupie," as it sounds fun and exotic at the same time and evokes one of my favorite things: money!
I've only briefly looked at your clothes and thought they were a little … well, there was a little too little of them, to be exact. My assistant caught me looking at photos of you the other day in a chain link, floor length dress that covered only a few strategic body parts. I told her I was doing research, and she winked and told me my wife was on the phone.
"Bootylicious," the term you coined that now commands a place in the Oxford English Dictionary, might be a tad too over the top for the look I am seeking. But there seems to be no bounds to your marketing and promotional skills.
What do you think about "branding" my anchors, reporters and staff in a fully coordinated look? I might even be able to make them pay for their uniforms! And how about a "Fair & Balanced" cologne or perfume?
I don't know if you have met some of the guys on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal, but they could use an Oprah makeover and a new wardrobe. Their style could be described as Milton Friedman meets John Belushi. I am amazed people let them on TV. Most of my Fox people get it, but not all of the women fully utilize their cleavage as skillfully as Moammar Gadhafi so expertly ties his modern togas, Kim Jong Il masters the 1970s porn director look, or Donald Trump executes the comb-over.
Occasionally viewers might confuse my people with employees of CNN or NBC. I am not worried about the BBC or MSNBC, but you get my drift. When people see one of my employees, I want them to know immediately that he or she works for a Murdoch company — and that they can achieve the same look!
Maybe I am getting ahead of myself here, but what do you think about the Home Shopping Network? Has that worked for House of Dereon?
Is it better to sell only online? I could see expanding into airline, restaurant and legal uniforms. Just think how much more fun it would be to go to court — and what ratings legal proceedings could earn — if lawyers dressed to compete for viewers. Too bad justices are forced to wear such drab attire.
Do we need models above and beyond our employees? You may have noticed most of our TV employees are blessed with good genes. And a few even have your curves; that is deliberate, given the (literal) size of our audience. CoverGirl using comedienne Ellen DeGeneres may work for Procter & Gamble, but let's just say I wouldn't have to worry about being caught looking at photos of her in my office during work hours. Your thoughts?
Would you consider running that business? As mentioned earlier, you would have to tone your current look down — slightly.
Thank you for your consideration and please call me at your earliest convenience to discuss what could be a mutually very lucrative partnership.
Yours in fashion,
Rupert "Rupie" Murdoch
Marta H. Mossburg is a senior fellow at the Maryland Public Policy Institute and a fellow at the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. Her column appears regularly in The Baltimore Sun. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.