Murdoch, Rupert

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Murdoch, Rupert

Rupert Murdoch (Keith Rupert Murdoch), 1931–, Australian-American publishing magnate. Combining sensationalist journalism (often reflective of his generally hawkish, strongly conservative political views) with aggressive promotion, Murdoch established a worldwide communications empire, the News Corporation, that, among other assets, includes powerful holdings in Australia and New Zealand; the prestigious Times of London and other widely read British papers; and, in the United States, HarperCollins book publishers, the New York Post,TV Guide, and the Wall Street Journal. He also acquired 20th Century Fox film studios and home video and built the Fox Television network, as well as television stations in Australia. His other communications ventures include direct-broadcast satellite television and cable networks, and he has purchased broadcast rights to major sports events in Britain, the United States, Australia, and India. He became a U.S. citizen in 1985. In 2011 his British papers were hit by a scandal concerning the use of phone hacking and police bribery in news gathering, which led to the closure of one paper, prominent arrests (including that of a former aide to Prime Minister Cameron) and resignations (including that of his son James in 2012), and British and U.S. investigations. A British parliamentary investigation into the scandal criticized (2012) Murdoch personally and called him unfit to head a major international company. In 2013 most of the television and film businesses were separated from the News Corporation, becoming 21st Century Fox.

See biography by N. Chenoweth (2002); M. Wolff, The Man Who Owns the News (2008).

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