No sooner does the news break that Bertelsmann boss Thomas Middelhoff has lost his job than we hear that he is mulling over a job offer from AOL Time Warner. Next: Will departed AOL honcho Robert Pittman be signed by Vivendi, which recently ousted its leader, Jean-Marie Messier? Will Messier, overcoming centuries of Franco-German rivalry, consider an offer from Bertelsmann? When the music stops, will any of these men — who know more about marketing and hype than about media, new or old — be out of a job? Maybe it’s time for some new blood at the top of these companies, since the folks who have run them for the last several years made such a colossal mess.
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