Rupert Murdoch

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Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC KCSG born 11 March, 1931 is an Australian-born American media mogul. On 1 July 2015, Murdoch left his post as CEO of 21st Century Fox.  However, Murdoch and his family continue to own both 21st Century Fox and News Corp through the Murdoch Family Trust.

In July 2016, after the resignation of Roger Ailes due to accusations of sexual harassment, Murdoch was named the acting CEO of Fox News.

Forbes Estimated Murdoch’s net worth at $21.4 billion as of June 2019.

Keith Rupert Murdoch was born on 11 March 1931 in Melbourne, Australia, the son of Sir Keith Murdoch and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch. His father was a famous war correspondent and newspaper publisher who owned a number of local and regional newspapers: the Herald in Melbourne, the Courier-Mail in Brisbane and the News and Sunday Mail.Murdoch graduated from Geelong Grammar, a prestigious Australian boarding school, in 1949 before crossing the ocean to attend Worcester College at Oxford University in England.  Murdoch attended University of Oxford where he studied philosophy, politics and economics and was also the manager of Oxford Student Publications Limited. At the age of 21, Murdoch’s fun-loving youthful ways came to an abrupt end when his father suddenly passed away in 1952. After preparing himself with a brief apprenticeship under Lord Beaverbrook at the Daily Express in London, in 1953, he returned to Australia to take up ‘News Limited’, their family business.


In a short time, he made it a big success. During 1950s and 60s he bought several other newspapers in Australia and New Zealand.  Murdoch expanded his operations by purchasing the Perth-based Sunday Times and revamped it in the sensationalist style of the News. Then, in 1960, Murdoch broke into the lucrative Sydney market by purchasing the struggling Mirror and slowly transforming it into Sydney’s best-selling afternoon paper. Encouraged by his success and harboring ambitions of political influence, in 1965 Murdoch founded Australia’s first national daily paper, the Australian, which helped to rebuild Murdoch’s image as a respectable news publisher.  In 1969 he took over ‘News of the World’ and then ‘The Sun’ expanding his reign in the United Kingdom. He became a huge media mogul after acquiring ‘The Times’ and ‘The Sunday Times’ and many other media holdings.

In 1974 he moved to New York with the intentions of expanding in the U.S market as well. His first move was to buy ‘San Antonio Express-News’ in 1973. He started a supermarket tabloid named ‘Star’ in the same year. In 1976 he took over the ‘New York Post’.  In 1979, Murdoch founded News Corporation, commonly referred to as News Corp., as a holding company for his various media properties

In 1985 Murdoch got U.S citizenship which meant that he could own a US television station. Consequently, Murdoch bought 20th Century Fox from Marvin Davis and Marc Rich. By 1986 he was the founder of Fox Broadcasting Company which included six TV stations —which has since become a major American television network.  Though he had lost his Australian citizenship, it never stopped him from doing business there. He bought ‘The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd in 1987.In 1990, he founded Star TV, a Hong Kong-based television broadcasting company. Additionally, after purchasing several prestigious American and British academic and literary publishing companies throughout the late 1980s, he consolidated them into HarperCollins in 1990. In 1996 he started Fox News Channel a 24-hour cable news station. His Fox movie studio has many global hit films to its name.

Even though Murdoch’s approach to journalism is viewed as populist by many people it cannot be argued that he has the innate ability to sense exactly what the consumers are looking for. He did not follow the traditions moreover challenged existing ones and produced new genres. A perfect example of his bold initiatives is the Fox News Network that turned the previously dull and flat news into a dramatic ‘Fox News Alert’ with loud and colorful graphics introducing the element of entertainment. His tactics surely worked as Fox News is now the most viewed news channel on the cable.

In 2005, his company News Corporation purchased Intermix media Inc. which had many social websites under its domain including MySpace and Imagine Games Network.  Murdoch has also invested in sports; he is a part owner of the Los Angeles Kings NHL franchise, the Los Angeles Lakers NBA franchise and the Staples Center, as well as Fox Sports 1 and the Fox Sports website.

In 2013, he announced a significant restructuring of his empire. Murdoch decided to divide his business into two companies—21st Century Fox Inc. and News Corp. This move separated his entertainment holdings from his publishing interests. According to the Los Angeles Times, Murdoch explained that “Both companies will be uniquely positioned to execute on their respective strategic objectives and to lead their industries forward.”In June 2015, news broke that Murdoch would be handing over the leadership of 21st Century Fox to his son James. Murdoch would remain with the organization as executive co-chairman, sharing the role with his oldest son, Lachlan.  Amid the restructuring of 21st Century Fox, the company engaged in talks with Walt Disney over the sale of its properties.  In mid-December 2017, terms of an agreement were reached in which Disney would purchase most of 21st Century Fox in an all-stock transaction valued at around $52.4 billion. Murdoch, who retained control of Fox News, the Fox broadcast network and the FS1 sports cable channel, said he would spin those assets into a newly listed company.  Murdoch takes his products very personally and gets involved in what’s happening with them. He once said ‘I try to keep in touch with the details, I also look at the product daily’.

In November 2015, former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said that Murdoch “arguably has had more impact on the wider world than any other living Australian”.