- In-Country Power
- International Power
- Military Strength
- Special Skill: Monstrous Media Mogul
- Official Title: Chairman and CEO of News Corporation
- Years Left in Office:
- Political Classification:
- Education: Studied Politics and Economics at Oxford University
- Age: 88 (born March 11, 1931)
Rupert Murdoch Facts and Information
G’day Mates. Let’s talk about Rupert Murdoch, a titan of global media and ideologically conservative world power player that can affect all sorts of things from behind the political scenes! This is the dude that made the whack-crack conservative Fox News channel…and just between me and you: with the exception of The Simpsons and The Family Guy, you can’t believe a thing that gets spouted on the airways of that station! But seriously, this dude is a king-maker and world-shaker…so who the hell is this awesome media mogul?
The Australian born Murdoch has much control over the American and foreign media. According to the 2010 Forbes list of richest Americans, Murdoch is the 38th richest person in the U.S. and the 117th-richest person in the world, with a net worth of $6.2 billion. Rupert’s empire covers most of the planet and he owns businesses which have coverage in every continent except Antarctica. (However, if he gets a chance, he’ll try to plant his claim to whatever media Antarctica has as his own.)
Murdoch’s media empire humbly began out of the small Australian newspaper, the Adelaide News, which he inherited after his father’s death in 1952. He began to show his tendency towards cut-throat capitalism early when he bought up many of his areas local newspapers and eventually started The Australian, which was Australia’s first national newspaper, in 1964. In a span of 15 years he became one of Australia’s biggest newspaper owners.
After he dominated Australia’s newspaper he started his campaign abroad in England in the mid 60’s. He bought four newspapers there. In the 1980’s he established the first completely computerized newspaper in England. He was highly criticized for this because thousands of people lost their jobs in this transition process…in his defense, technological breakthroughs almost always have this impact, dating back to the Industrial Revolution.
In addition to his British acquisitions, Murdoch started off small in America in 1973 by purchasing The San Antonio News. He went on to buy The Washington Post in 1976, which marked the beginning of his domination of American newspapers and American television. He became an American citizen in 1985 just so he could buy Twentieth Century Fox and create Fox TV. He created Fox TV in 1995 to rival CNN, and it quickly became the most watched channel in America. Murdoch uses America’s relaxed media regulations to run his billion dollar business, but he hasn’t paid corporate taxes in over ten years and he probably doesn’t plan on starting any time soon. (Put that in your pipe and smoke it Warren Buffett!) In 1993, Murdoch further expanded his media empire into the Asian market with the acquisition of Star Television. The satellite service encompasses a vast market than runs from East Asia all the way to the Middle East.
Murdoch’s company, News Corporation, has a firm hand in film, print, the Internet, and whatever else there is. It currently employs a staff of 44,000 worldwide and has generated billions of dollars. Murdoch’s empire also includes TV Guide, the SPEED Channel, HarperCollins publishing, Twentieth Century Fox studios, Fox Interactive Media, DirectTV, MySpace.com, National Geographic Channel, IGN Entertainment, the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, 50% of the National Rugby League, and recently The Wall Street Journal.
Murdoch likes to hold secret meetings with politicians from all over the world. The list includes every American President starting with Truman. He has met with David Cameron (Britain’s Conservative leader), and Stephen Harper (Canada’s Conservative leader). It’s only a coincidence that the majority of them are conservative and these meeting are of course informal and have nothing to do with politics. NOT.
Murdoch could be called the “Hugh Hefner” of media as he has been married 3 times, has 6 kids, and is currently married to Chinese hottie Wendi Deng (who is heading her husband’s Chinese media investments)...but there are plenty of women giddy for this media mogul. Even if his immense wealth and political power is not enough to make you swoon, don’t underestimate the power of his charm: it is said to be legendary.
Two interesting pop cultural facts about Murdoch: Don Henley (of Eagles fame) has said that his pop hit “Dirty Laundry” is based on Murdoch’s style of journalism and Elliot Carver, the power crazed media tyrant who tried to start another World War in the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies, is also based on Murdoch.
Why care about knowing this dude? Well, he is ranked 13th most powerful person in the world in the 2010 Forbes’s The World’s Most Powerful People list. Murdoch has been listed three times in the Time 100 as one among the most influential people in the world. He is ranked 117th wealthiest person in the world with a net worth of $6.3 billion. Murdoch’s media empire reaches billions of households daily, and he is one of the few media moguls whose name is known across the globe! But on a more personal basis, this dude’s ownership/control of so many news sources around the world means that he can radically impact what gets reported on, and how it gets reported. Think a single person could create a market panic, start a war, or affect an election? This dude could. In just a few circumstances, the pen really is mightier than the sword, especially when your pen’s ink squirts to all corners of the globe!
2012 UPDATE: 2011 was a tough year for the media mogul! Dirty reporting tactics and conservative political dirty-dealings have really tarnished the Murdoch empire, and the dirty laundry is really piling up on Rupert’s legacy! In July 2011 Murdoch faced allegations that his companies, including the News of the World (the UK’s biggest tabloid owned by News Corporation) had been regularly hacking the phones of celebrities, royalty, and public citizens…and the the current UK Prime Minister David Cameron took free plane rides and got stuff from the news group as well. Rupert now faces police and government investigations into bribery and corruption in the UK and FBI investigations in the US.
The scandal has damaged Murdoch’s financial holdings (oh no! His net worth may sink below 6 billion!), may eventually get his family pushed out of control of the company, and will certainly initiate further legislation restricting and punishing the use of such nasty tactics to get scandalous information to post publicly. But let’s end this on a fun note!
Rupert is now twittering! At the dawn of 2012, he started posting on Twitter under the handle rupertmurdoch, and is currently only following 4 other peeps on Twitter….one of which is our very own Plaid Larry Page, part of the Plaid Avenger’s World Shadow Cabinet! Hahahaha…sweet! Celebrity strikes again for the world of the Plaid Avenger. Hmmm…I wonder if this will get me an invite to a yacht party anytime soon? Let’s hope so, because if it goes down I will live Skype the whole seriously scandalous event to you all, right after I commandeer the vessel and invade Cuba!
- An hour conversation with media mogul Rupert Murdoch, the Chairman and CEO of the News Corporation
- Sky News - Interview with Rupert Murdoch
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