Rupert Murdoch became one of the most powerful media magnates due to his entrepreneurial spirit. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of News Corporation, the second biggest media conglomerate of the world.
Murdoch was born on 11th March 1931 in Melbourne, Australia. He attended University of Oxford where he studied philosophy, politics and economics and was also the manager of Oxford Student Publications Limited. At 21, when his father died, Murdoch took charge of ‘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. 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 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 in 1984. By 1986 he was the founder of Fox Broadcasting Company which included six TV stations. Murdoch had lost his Australian citizenship but this did not stop him from doing business there. He bought ‘The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd in 1987. 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. In 2005, his company News Corporation purchased Intermix media Inc. which had many social websites under its domain including MySpace and Imagine Games Network.
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.
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’. His current net worth is almost $8 billion and he is the world’s thirteenth most influential person. According to Forbes, Murdoch is 38th richest person of America and the 106th richest in the world. He was called the world’s 24th most powerful person by Forbes in 2012. He has the ability to take something little and turn into something huge.