"I think the important thing is that there be plenty of newspapers, with plenty of different people controlling them, so that there are a variety of viewpoints, so there is a choice for the public. This is the freedom of the press that is needed."
- Rupert Murdoch
Interview in 1968 after taking over the News of the World newspaper.
Keith Rupert Murdoch (1931 - ) is an Australian American and founder, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, the world’s second largest media conglomerate. The largest, according to the 2011 Fortune 500 list, is the Walt Disney Company. Born and raised in Melbourne, Australia, Murdoch became managing director of News Limited, inherited from his father, in 1952. After acquiring various newspapers in Australia and New Zealand in the 1950’s and 1960’s, he expanded into the United Kingdom, first by taking over the News of the World and then The Sun. This was followed by a move to New York in 1974 and expansion in the US. In 1985 he became a naturalised American citizen. News Corporation acquired Twentieth Century Fox in 1985, HarperCollins in1989 and The wall Street Journal in 2007. He formed BSkyB in 1990 and during the 1990s expanded into Asian networks and South American television. By 2000 Murdoch's News Corporation owned over 800 companies in more than 50 countries with a net worth of over $5 billion.
In July 2011 Murdoch faced allegations that his companies, including the News of the World, owned by News Corporation, had been regularly hacking the telephones of celebrities, royalty and public citizens. He faces police and government investigations into bribery and corruption by the British government and FBI investigations in the US.
Earlier this week a British parliamentary committee investigating the phone hacking allegations release a report that commented that Rupert Murdoch was "not a fit person" to be in charge of a major media firm. The report also criticised Murdoch for "wilful blindness" when it came to a culture of phone hacking. The committee was divided on party lines with a 6-4 vote in favour.
News Corporation has called the findings “unjustified and highly partisan.”
In July last year Murdoch advised the investigating committee that he had no knowledge of phone-hacking and payments to police at his News of the World tabloid, blaming “people I trusted”. He referred to the day as "the most humble day of my life." Earlier that same month he had shut the News of the World down for good following a public outcry and political backlash.
Some other Rupert Murdoch quotes:
“In motivating people, you’ve got to engage their minds and hearts. I motivate people, I hope, by example – and perhaps by excitement, by having productive ideas to make others feel involved.”
“For better or for worse, our company is a reflection of my thinking, my character, my values.”
“I try to keep in touch with the details. I also look at the product daily. That doesn’t mean you interfere, but it’s important occasionally to show the ability to be involved. It shows you understand what’s happening."