Rupert Murdoch is an influential figure in the media industry of this century. Through News Corp, one of the richest people in the world controls hundreds of popular media in various countries, from print to electronic.
In America, he owns Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Post. In England, he oversees The Sun and The Times. Then, in Australia, he owns the Herald Sun and The Daily Telegraph. He is also listed as the owner of the Harper Collins ledger publishing company.
His prowess at building a media empire led to Forbes ranking Murdoch 76th on their list of global conglomerates last year. As of Friday (17/2), Murdoch was recorded as having a wealth of US$18.3 billion
Reporting to various sources, Keith Rupert Murdoch was born in Melbourne, Australia, on March 11, 1931. Since childhood, the blood of journalism has flowed in his body.
He was the second child of Sir Keith Murdoch, a successful newspaper correspondent, and publisher in Australia. During his lifetime, his father was the executive director of the Herald and Weekly Times Group, a famous media company in the Kangaroo Country.
Murdoch was educated at the prestigious boarding school Geelong Grammar School, Australia. There, he was active as an editor for the school journal. After that, he studied higher education in philosophy, politics, and economics at Worcester College, Oxford, England.
After graduating, Murdoch worked as an editor for the London Daily Express newspaper where he became acquainted with ‘sensational’ journalism which would influence the way he did business in the future.
When he was 21 years old, his father died of cancer. This forced him to return to Australia and continue the family business in 1954. He inherited the newspaper company News Limited, which owns The Sunday Mail and The News, from his father. Thanks to his cool hands, The News was successful in Adelaide.
Understandably, he turned The News into a newspaper reporting scandals and selling sex. He even intervened in determining the headlines. After that, he began to actively acquire and expand into a number of troubled media outlets in various cities in Australia. From the Sunday Times in Perth to The Daily Mirror in Sydney.
In 1969, he started acquiring foreign media. At that time, he bought the newspaper The News of the World which was published in London, England. After a year, he bought the popular newspaper The Sun.
He revived a dying newspaper with the same formula, namely with bombastic headlines emphasizing issues of crime, sex, scandal, and the humanities.
In 1973, Murdoch entered the US media industry by purchasing two Texas daily newspapers, one of which was The San Antonio News. He turned the evening paper into a popular newspaper with its recipe for sex and scandal.
In 1974, Murdoch decided to move to the US. In the same year, he bought the national weekly tabloid The Star. After two years, he bought the evening tabloid The New York Post.
Subsequently, he purchased local media in a number of US states, including The Boston Herald and The Chicago Sun-Times. In 1985, he decided to give up his Australian citizen status and become a permanent resident of New York, USA.
The period 1980-2000, was the golden age of Murdoch. During that period he expanded by acquiring radio, television stations, film production houses, record companies, and book publishers.
In 1985, he acquired Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation (20th Century Fox) and developed it into Fox Inc., which produced a number of box office films and owned the influential news channel Fox News.
In Asia, he bought Star TV, a pay-TV channel based in Hong Kong. He did this to smooth out plans to build a global media empire.
In 2005, he bought the internet company Intermix media which houses Myspace.com. Two years later, he announced that he had bought Dow Jones & Company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, for US$5 billion.
Murdoch’s business expansion did not always run smoothly. The pile of debt that led to the sale of media was inevitably done. For example, in the late 1980s, he briefly sold The Star and The New York Post after successfully doubling the value of the company. However, in 1993, he again bought The New York Post.
Then, in 2011, he was also listed as selling his shares in Intermix Media because many MySpace users had switched to Facebook. He is said to have lost hundreds of millions of dollars because the sale price was far below what he was bought for.
In 2013, News Corporation separated its print media and television media business lines. For print, the business is still under the auspices of New Corporation. Meanwhile, the much more profitable television and other media business lines are under the auspices of 21st Century Fox.
In 2015, he passed the chair of CEO of 21st Century Fox to his son James Murdoch. However, he remains chairman.
Furthermore, in 2017, he sold most of 21st Century Fox shares to Disney for US$71 billion. Nevertheless, he still maintains Fox News and a number of television channels under the Fox Corporation.