CEO Spotlight

Profile: Rupert Murdoch – The media heritage and how he expanded the family business

For some people it’s great luck to inherit a lucrative business. But if you think about it better, it requires even more luck, effort and perseverance to be able to keep this business and expand it.

Rupert Murdoch is one such case. He was lucky enough to inherit a family business. At the age of 22, Rupert he inherited a chain of Australian newspapers following the death of his father in 1952.

He took on a huge responsibility. But he did not give up. With stubbornness and with the right business moves he managed to expand the family business. Nowadays, at the age of 90 years old, he is one of the richest people not only in America but in the whole world with a net worth of $22.4 billion.

Following a series of acquisitions, Murdoch has created a portfolio of newspapers worth more than $50 million. Nowadays he holds the position of Executive Chairman of News Corporation and the Chairman of Fox Corporation.

News Corporation and Fox Corporation are two of the most known media companies all over the world. More specifically, these two businesses operate media properties in five continents including The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, HarperCollins and the New York Post.

Rupert was lucky enough to be born into a publishing family. This was something he liked and was excited about. Journalism entered his life and determined his subsequent course of life.

In 1949 Sir Keith Murdoch, Rupert’s father took control of News Corp Australia, known as News Limited at the time. The company was originally founded in 1923 by James Edward Davidson, and it published several of the most popular newspapers in Australia.

From an early age he started working with his father. He studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Worcester College, Oxford in England. Meanwhile his father died from cancer. However, Murdoch completed an MA before working as a sub-editor with the Daily Express for two years.

After his father’s death, before returning to Australia, he took on an apprenticeship role at the Daily Express in London. There he gained much experience for his next step. Murdoch became the managing director of News Corp Australia at the age of 22.

He started making changes in the newspapers, giving his own mark. He focused on scandals and friction stories. As it turned out, he was right about the strategy he followed as sales of his newspapers increased.

In 1968 Murdoch began to expand his business interest outside of Australia. He moved to the United Kingdom and acquired the News of the World and The Sun. In 1973 he moved to the United States and completed a number of acquisitions. More specifically, he purchased the San Antonio News, the Star, the New York magazine, the Chicago Sun-Times, and The Times of London. His company also acquired two book publishing companies, Harper & Row and Collins. Of course, Murdoch made his biggest purchase when he bought Wall Street Journal parent company, Dow Jones, in 2007 for $6 billion.

He seized a great opportunity when he acquired Marc Rich’s stake in 20th Century FOX Film Corporation in 1984 for 250 million dollars. He later purchased Marvin Davis’s remaining interest in FOX for another 325 million dollars. Marc Rich and Marvin Davis were the first owners of 20th Century FOX Film Corporation. Especially, Marc Rich had serious legal issues to face, something that Murdoch used to his advantage. Murdoch also bought a number of independent television stations. These companies later came together to form the Fox Broadcasting Company. Murdoch also built the broadcasting giant, 21st Century Fox, from scratch, and was responsible for creating the Fox News Channel.

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Maria Gourtsilidou
Maria Gourtsilidou is Senior Editor of Research and Data Analytics at the CEOWORLD magazine. She is responsible for driving thought leadership, using data analytics to showcase the company’s products and services, and fostering knowledge sharing between CEOWORLD magazine and client organizations. She studied Public Administration (Economics Of The Public Sector) in Greece and holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration from the Panteion University of Political & Social Studies. Follow Maria Gourtsilidou on Twitter. Write at