Rupert Murdoch

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Posted by r2d2 03/10/2009 @ 09:07

Tags : rupert murdoch, entrepreneurs, business

News headlines
Were The Google News Outages Really Outages? - ChannelWeb
... "Don't Be Evil" flag, but if Google decided to pick the busiest time of the day for Web traffic in the US to tinker with the Google News page design, it would send a powerful message to the AP, Rupert Murdoch, and other brooding content providers....
David Geffen Loves the Times—and Murdoch - Newser
I would be remiss if I did not point out that the odd couple of the American media business these days is David Geffen and that other would-be owner of the Times, Rupert Murdoch. Geffen and Murdoch were brought together by Murdoch's wife, Wendi....
Rip My Book, Please - Publishers Weekly
by Andrew Richard Albanese -- Publishers Weekly, 5/18/2009 One day after News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch told reporters that his company is exploring how to charge for its online content, proclaiming that an “epochal” moment looms in Web history,...
James Murdoch overtakes Rupert - WA today
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp, has been overtaken by his son James for the first time in a ranking of the most powerful figures in British media. Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page topped The Guardian's list of the most...
Rupert Murdoch: Worst over; MySpace exec changes will regain momentum - ZDNet
News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch says it “is increasingly clear that the worst is over” for the economy (and ad market). Meanwhile, Murdoch said that the executive changes at MySpace will restore the site's momentum, make the site “more attractive” and...
When Pay Walls Aren't Enough - MediaPost Publications
Perhaps, says the International Herald Tribune's Eric Pfanner, if Rupert Murdoch and his media mogul contemporaries have their way. Murdoch last week declared that he would personally end the "malfunctioning" of the newspaper business by charging for...
A Real History of Rupert Murdoch - CounterPunch
By BRUCE PAGE If, as seems possible, we shall need a block of something to lower onto the grave of western journalism, then Michael Wolff's fat masterpiece of sycophancy about Rupert Murdoch, The Man Who Owns the News, might come in handy....
San Jose Mercury News to Charge for Online Content - All About Jazz
Following in the footsteps of a recent announcement by Rupert Murdoch's The Wall Street Journal, the Silicon Valley's paper of record, The San Jose Mercury News announced over the weekend that it plans to begin charging for access to online content....
Media Cache Pay Walls Alone Won't Save Newspapers - New York Times
In recent days, Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp., declared that he would end what he called a “malfunctioning” business: the free online newspaper. Other publishers, including The Guardian Media Group in Britain and The New York Times Co.,...
Success at NBC hasn't been as easy as Silverman had hoped - Muckety
(Shine Limited, a British company owned by Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert Murdoch, bought Reveille last year for $125 million.) Given this track record, it's no surprise that NBC made Silverman the co-chairman of NBC Universal Entertainment and...

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch in 1937 with his parents, Keith and Elisabeth Murdoch, and his sister, departing Adelaide for Britain by sea.

Keith Rupert Murdoch, AC, KCSG (born 11 March, 1931 in Melbourne, Victoria), usually known as Rupert Murdoch, is an Australian-born global media mogul. He is the major shareholder, chairman and managing director of News Corporation (News Corp). Beginning with one newspaper in Adelaide, Murdoch acquired and started other publications in his native Australia before expanding News Corp into the UK, US and Asian media markets. It was in the UK that he diversified into TV, creating Sky Television in 1989. In recent years he has become a leading investor in satellite television, the film industry, the Internet and the media.

According to the 2008 Forbes 400, Murdoch is the 109th-richest person in the world, with a net worth of $8.3 billion.

Murdoch's father was Sir Keith Arthur Murdoch, a powerful Australian newspaper proprietor of Scottish descent (Clan Murdoch is actually a sept of Clan MacDonald). His mother is Dame Elisabeth Murdoch (née Elisabeth Joy Greene), the daughter of a wealthy Irish family. Rupert attended Geelong Grammar School, one of Australia's most elite private schools, and was reading philosophy, politics and economics at Worcester College, University of Oxford, England, when his father died in 1952.

Before his death, Keith Murdoch had accumulated a great number of shares in newspaper companies, including some representing a controlling interest in News Limited, an Adelaide company publishing an afternoon newspaper called The News. He had appointed an experienced journalist named Rohan Rivett, a childhood friend and mentor of Rupert Murdoch, as editor of The News, with the hope that Rupert would enter a career in journalism and that Rivett would assist Rupert in learning the skills required. In his will, Keith Murdoch instructed his trustees that Rupert should begin his career at The News "if they consider him worthy of support". At that time of his father's death, Murdoch had written articles for Oxford student newspapers and had worked for a number of newspapers in a junior capacity. However, some thought he appeared to have little interest in journalism, but noted his enthusiasm for gambling and making money. At the time of his death Keith Murdoch was heavily in debt, but possessed within a private family trust a considerable number of newspaper shares, some of which may have actually belonged to The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd. The trustees, in consultation with Keith's widow and Rupert's mother, Lady Murdoch, were forced to sell many of the shares and other property in order to pay death duties (inheritance taxes) and repay debt. Elisabeth was able to retain only the family home, Cruden Farm, plus the shares in News Limited and its subsidiaries, a Melbourne magazine publishing company named Southdown Press and The Barrier Miner, a regional newspaper at Broken Hill, New South Wales.

Rupert Murdoch returned from Oxford to become managing director of News Limited in 1953. Through his leadership, its staff, circulation and advertising revenue began to grow. He began to direct his attention to acquisition and expansion. He bought the Sunday Times in Perth, Western Australia and, using the tabloid techniques of his father's mentor Lord Northcliffe, made it a success.

In 1956, Murdoch began publishing Australia's first and most successful weekly television magazine, TV Week, at Southdown Press in Melbourne, which also published Australia's oldest women's magazine New Idea. With the Perth paper, the TV magazine and a re-energised New Idea all providing a steady and improving cash flow, he was able to secure finance for further expansion from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, a government-owned bank dedicated to supporting the development of Australian business.

A defining moment in Murdoch's life was the Stuart case in Adelaide: The News began a campaign to free Max Stuart, a young Aboriginal carnival worker, who had been convicted of the murder of a small girl on a beach near Ceduna, South Australia late in 1958. Stuart had been sentenced to death by hanging. The News was openly critical of the case against Stuart and investigated it extensively. The death penalty was eventually commuted to life imprisonment.

The campaign by The News sparked the ire of the Premier of South Australia, Sir Thomas Playford. He established a royal commission that was conducted by the state's Chief Justice, the same judge who had passed sentence on Stuart. The outcome confirmed Stuart's guilt and recommended that News Ltd (of which Murdoch was managing director) and its editor be charged with nine counts of seditious libel, a form of treason defined on the basis of medieval English law, and criminal libel. Eight of the charges were thrown out, but the jury could not agree on the ninth, which the prosecution subsequently withdrew. This experience gave Murdoch a taste of the overwhelming power of popularly elected politicians that would shape the future policies of all his newspapers. (In 2002, he financed a motion picture, Black and White, a fictionalised version of the Stuart story.) Shortly after this affair, Murdoch replaced Rivett as editor of The News.

Over the next few years, Murdoch established himself in Australia as a dynamic business operator, expanding his holdings by acquiring suburban and provincial newspapers in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory, including the Sydney afternoon tabloid, The Daily Mirror, as well as a small Sydney-based recording company, Festival Records. His acquisition of the Daily Mirror allowed him to challenge two powerful rivals in Australia's biggest city and to outmanoeuvre his afternoon rival in a lengthy circulation war.

His first foray outside Australia involved the purchase of a controlling interest in the New Zealand daily The Dominion. In January 1964, while touring New Zealand with friends in a rented Morris Minor after sailing across the Tasman, Murdoch read of a takeover bid for the sleepy Wellington paper by the British-based Canadian newspaper magnate, Lord Thomson of Fleet. On the spur of the moment, he launched a counterbid. A four-way battle for control ensued in which the 32-year-old Murdoch, in a pointer of things to come, comprehensively outwitted his rivals. He took an active interest in the paper, at least until distracted by bigger undertakings, and remained the dominant shareholder in New Zealand's Independent Newspapers Limited - the nationwide media group that ultimately developed from his takeover of The Dominion - until 2003.

Later in 1964, Murdoch launched The Australian, Australia's first national daily newspaper, which was based first in Canberra and later in Sydney. The Australian, a broadsheet, was intended to give Murdoch new respectability as a 'quality' newspaper publisher, as well as greater political influence. The paper had a rocky start that was marked by publishing difficulties and a rapid succession of editors who found it impossible to cope with Murdoch's persistent interference. Touted as a serious journal that was devoted to covering the affairs of the nation, the paper actually veered between tabloid sensationalism and intellectual mediocrity until Murdoch found a compliant editor who was able to tolerate his frequently unpredictable whims.

The departure in 1966 of the Liberal Prime Minister Robert Menzies saw a chaotic six years of politics after Menzies' chosen successor Harold Holt drowned and was replaced by John Gorton and William McMahon. In 1972, Murdoch acquired the Sydney morning tabloid The Daily Telegraph. In that year's election, Murdoch threw his growing power behind the Australian Labor Party under the leadership of Gough Whitlam and duly saw it elected. As the Whitlam government began to lose public support following its re-election in 1974, Murdoch turned against Whitlam and supported the Governor-General's dismissal of the Prime Minister.

During this period, Murdoch turned his attention to Britain. His business success in Australia and his fastidious policy of making prompt periodic repayments of his borrowings had placed him in good standing with the Commonwealth Bank, which provided him with finance for his biggest venture yet, the takeover of the family company that owned The News of the World, the Sunday newspaper with the biggest circulation in Britain.

Murdoch expanded into Britain in 1968. He succeeded in beating rival publisher Robert Maxwell to the acquisition of The News of the World, which had once been the most popular English-language newspaper in the world, with a claimed peak circulation of 8,441,966 in 1950. By 1968, circulation had dropped to around six million, and a substantial number of its shares were offered for sale by a member of the Carr family, which had part-owned and managed the company for nearly seventy years.

It was also the first time that Murdoch risked the entire business he had already created on the outcome of a new venture, as he mortgaged the most valuable of his existing Australian properties in order to buy the paper, having been promised that he would share control with the existing Carr management. After succeeding in this, Murdoch not only controlled The News of the World but had completely regained full ownership of all his Australian assets.

When the daily newspaper The Sun entered the market in 1969, Murdoch acquired it and turned it into a tabloid format; by 2006 it was selling three million copies per day.

Murdoch acquired The Times (and The Sunday Times), the paper Lord Northcliffe had once owned, in 1981. The distinction of owning The Times came to him through his careful cultivation of its owner, who had grown tired of losing money on it.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Murdoch's publications were generally supportive of the UK's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

At the end of the Thatcher/Major era, Murdoch switched his support to the Labour Party and the party's leader Tony Blair. The closeness of his relationship with Blair and their secret meetings to discuss national policies was to become a political issue in Britain.

In 1986, Murdoch introduced electronic production processes to his newspapers in Australia, Britain and the United States. The greater degree of automation led to significant reductions in the number of employees involved in the printing process. In England, the move roused the anger of the print unions, resulting in a long and often violent dispute that played out in Wapping, one of London's docklands areas, where Murdoch had installed the very latest electronic newspaper publishing facility in an old warehouse. The unions had been led to assume that Murdoch intended to launch a new London evening newspaper from those premises, but he had kept secret his intention to relocate all the News titles there. The bitter dispute at Fortress Wapping started with the dismissal of 6000 employees who had gone on strike and resulted in street battles, demonstrations and a great deal of bad publicity for Murdoch. Many suspected that the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher had colluded in the Wapping affair as a way of damaging the British trade union movement. Once the Wapping battle had ended, union opposition in Australia followed suit.

Today, most print newspapers around the world are published using his automated production methods, with significant cost savings as a result.

News Corporation has subsidiaries in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, the Channel Islands and the Virgin Islands. From 1986, News Corporation's annual tax bill averaged around seven per cent of its profits.

In 1995, Murdoch's Fox Network became the object of scrutiny from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), when it was alleged that News Ltd.'s Australian base made Murdoch's ownership of Fox illegal. However, the FCC ruled in Murdoch's favor, stating that his ownership of Fox was in the best interests of the public. In the same year, Murdoch announced a deal with MCI Communications to develop a major news website, as well as founding a conservative magazine, The Weekly Standard. In the same year, News Corp. launched the Foxtel pay television network in Australia in partnership with Telstra.

In 1996, Murdoch decided to enter the cable news market with the Fox News Channel, a 24-hour cable news station. Following its launch, the heavily-funded Fox News consistently eroded CNN's market share and eventually proclaimed itself as "the most-watched cable news channel." Recent ratings studies released in the fourth quarter of 2004 showed that the network was responsible for nine of the top ten programs in the "Cable News" category.

In 1999, Murdoch significantly expanded his music holdings in Australia by acquiring the controlling share in a leading Australian independent label, Michael Gudinski's Mushroom Records; he merged that with Festival Records, and the result was Festival Mushroom Records (FMR). Both Festival and FMR were managed by Murdoch's son James Murdoch for several years.

In 1993, Murdoch acquired Star TV, a Hong Kong company founded by Richard Li (son of Li Ka-shing) for $1 billion (Souchou, 2000:28), and subsequently set up offices for it throughout Asia. It is one of the biggest satellite TV networks in Asia. However, the deal did not work out as Murdoch had planned, because the Chinese government placed restrictions on it that prevented it from reaching most of China. It was around this time that Murdoch met his third wife Wendi Deng, who worked for Hong Kong's Star TV. Later, Murdoch partnered with Chinese media pioneer Liu Changle to start Phoenix Satellite Television in a deal through which Murdoch owned 45% of the company, Liu Changle 45%, and CCTV Hong Kong 10%. Phoenix has become one of the most popular and profitable TV stations among Chinese viewers around the world, particularly in China itself.

In late 2003, Murdoch acquired a 34 per cent stake in Hughes Electronics, the operator of the largest American satellite TV system, DirecTV, from General Motors for $6 billion (USD).

In 2004, Murdoch announced that he was moving News Corp.'s headquarters from Adelaide, Australia to the United States. Choosing a US domicile was designed to ensure that American fund managers could purchase shares in the company, since many were deciding not to buy shares in non-US companies. Some analysts believed that News Corp's Australian domicile was leading to the company being undervalued compared with its peers.

On July 20, 2005, News Corp. bought Intermix Media Inc., which held MySpace.com and other popular social networking-themed websites for $580 million USD. On September 11, 2005, News Corp. announced that it would buy IGN Entertainment for $650 million (USD).

Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner are long-standing rivals. In 1996 Murdoch launched the Fox News Channel to compete against Turner's CNN.

The subject of Murdoch's alleged anti-competitive business practices resurfaced in September 2005. Australian media proprietor Kerry Stokes, owner of the Seven Network, instituted legal action against News Corporation and the PBL organization, headed by Kerry Packer. The suit stems from the 2002 collapse of Stokes' planned cable television channel C7 Sport, which would have been a direct competitor to the other major Australian cable provider, Foxtel, in which News and PBL have major stakes.

Stokes claims that News Corp. and PBL (along with several other media organizations) colluded to force C7 out of business by using undue influence to prevent C7 from gaining vital broadcast rights to major sporting events. In evidence given to the court on September 26, 2005, Stokes alleged that PBL executive James Packer came to his home in December 2000 and warned him that PBL and News Limited were "getting together" to prevent the AFL rights being granted to C7.

Recently, Murdoch has bought out the Turkish TV channel, TGRT, which had been previously confiscated by the Turkish Board of Banking Regulations, TMSF. Newspapers report that Murdoch has bought TGRT in a partnership with the Turkish recording mogul Ahmet Ertegün, and Murdoch is alleged to have acquired Turkish citizenship in order to overcome the current prohibition against capital sales to foreigners.

Murdoch's disconcerting experience with Thomas Playford in South Australia (see above: "Start of Business Career") and his early political activities in Australia set the pattern he would repeat around the world.

Murdoch found a political ally in John McEwen, leader of the Australian Country Party, who was governing in coalition with the larger Menzies-Holt Liberal Party. From the very first issue of The Australian Murdoch began taking McEwen's side in every issue that divided the long-serving coalition partners. (The Australian, July 15, 1964, first edition, front page: “Strain in Cabinet, Liberal-CP row flares.”) It was an issue that threatened to split the coalition government and open the way for the stronger Australian Labor Party to dominate Australian politics. It was the beginning of a long campaign that served McEwen well.

McEwen repaid Murdoch's support later by helping him to buy his valuable rural property Cavan, and then arranged a clever subterfuge by which Murdoch was able to transfer a large sum of money from Australia to England in order to finalize the purchase of The News of the World without obtaining the required authority from the Australian Treasury.

After McEwen and Menzies retired, Murdoch transferred his support to the newly elected Leader of the Australian Labor Party, Gough Whitlam, who was elected in 1972 on a social platform that included universal free health care, free education for all Australians to tertiary level, recognition of the People's Republic of China, and public ownership of Australia's oil, gas and mineral resources.

Rupert Murdoch's flirtation with Whitlam turned out to be brief. He had already started his short-lived National Star newspaper in America, and was seeking to strengthen his political contacts there.

Murdoch's publications have conservative leanings in comparison with other national newspapers. During the buildup to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, all 175 Murdoch-owned newspapers worldwide editorialized in favor of the war. Murdoch also served on the board of directors of the libertarian Cato Institute. News Corp.-owned Fox News is often criticized for its alleged Republican and/or conservative bias, though it denies these allegations.

On May 8, 2006, the Financial Times reported that Murdoch would be hosting a fundraiser for Senator Hillary Clinton's (D-New York) Senate reelection campaign. Murdoch's New York Post newspaper had opposed Clinton's Senate run in 2000.

In May 2007, Murdoch made a $5 billion offer to purchase Dow Jones, owner of the Wall Street Journal. At the time, the Bancroft family, which controlled 64% of the shares, firmly declined the offer, opposing Murdoch's much-used strategy of slashing employee numbers and "gutting" existing systems. Later, the Bancroft family confirmed a willingness to consider a sale -- besides Murdoch, the Associated Press reported that supermarket billionaire Ron Burkle and Internet entrepreneur Brad Greenspan were among the interested parties. On August 1, 2007, the BBC's "News and World Report" and NPR's Marketplace radio programs reported that Murdoch had acquired Dow Jones; this news was received with mixed reactions.

In Britain, Murdoch formed a close alliance with Margaret Thatcher, and The Sun credited itself with helping John Major to win an unexpected election victory in the 1992 general election. However, in the general elections of 1997, 2001 and 2005, Murdoch's papers were either neutral or supported Labour under Tony Blair. This has led some critics to argue that Murdoch simply supports the incumbent parties (or those who seem most likely to win an upcoming election) in the hope of influencing government decisions that may affect his businesses. The Labour Party under Blair had moved significantly to the Right on many economic issues prior to 1997. Murdoch identifies himself as a libertarian.

In a speech delivered in New York, Rupert Murdoch said that the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair described the BBC coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster as being full of hatred of America. Murdoch is a strong critic of the BBC, which he believes has a left-wing bias and is the major UK competitor to his cable network Sky.

In 1998, Rupert Murdoch failed in his attempt to buy the football powerhouse Manchester United FC with an offer of £625 million. It was the largest amount anyone had yet offered for a sports club. It was rejected by the United Kingdom's Competition Commission, which stated that the acquisition would have "hurt competition in the broadcast industry and the quality of British football".

On June 28, 2006 the BBC reported that Murdoch and News Corporation were flirting with the idea of backing Conservative leader David Cameron at the next General Election. However, in a later interview in July 2006, when he was asked what he thought of the Conservative leader, Murdoch replied "Not much".

In 2006, the UK’s Independent newspaper reported that Murdoch would offer Tony Blair a senior role in his global media company News Corp. when the UK prime minister stood down from office.

He is also accused by former Solidarity MSP Tommy Sheridan of having a personal vendetta against him and of conspiring with MI5 to produce a video of him confessing to having affairs -- allegations over which Sheridan had previously sued News International and won. On being arrested for perjury following the case, Sheridan claimed that the charges were "orchestrated and influenced by the powerful reach of the Murdoch empire".

Murdoch has a history of hosting private meetings with influential politicians. Both parties naturally dismiss such meetings as politically insignificant; social events, informal dinners or friendly drinks. It has however been argued that such meetings are significant because of Murdoch's exceptional influence as a media oligarch, as well as his consistent interest in and involvement with politics issues.

In August 2008 David Cameron accepted free flights to hold private talks and attend private parties with Murdoch on his yacht, the Rosehearty. Cameron has declared in the Commons register of interests he accepted a private plane provided by Murdoch's son-in-law, public relations guru Matthew Freud; Cameron has not revealed his talks with Mr Murdoch. The gift of travel in Freud's Gulfstream IV private jet was valued at around £30,000. Others guests attending the "social events" included the then EU trade commissioner Lord Mandelson, the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and co-chairman of NBC Universal Ben Silverman. The Conservatives are not disclosing what was discussed.

Early Summer 2008; a "tentative truce" was brokered during a secret meeting between Barack Obama, Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes (President of the Fox News Channel) at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel in New York. Obama had initially resisted Murdoch's propositions, despite senior News Corp executives having recruited the Kennedys to act as go-betweens. Obama resented Fox News's portrayal of him "as suspicious, foreign, fearsome - just short of a terrorist," while Ailes said "it might not have been this way if Obama had more willingly come on the air instead of so often giving Fox the back of his hand." A "tentative truce" was agreed upon; Obama would be portrayed more fairly, while Obama would be more willing to appear on Fox.

Murdoch has been married three times. In 1956 he married Patricia Booker, a former shop assistant and air hostess from Melbourne with whom he had his first child, a daughter Prudence Murdoch, who was born in 1958. They were divorced in 1967, the same year that he married Anna Torv, an Estonian-born cadet journalist working for his Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph. Torv's niece, also called Anna Torv, is now a television and voice actor.

Torv and Murdoch had three children: Elisabeth Murdoch (born in Sydney, Australia on August 22, 1968), Lachlan Murdoch (born in London, UK on September 8, 1971), and James Murdoch, (born in Wimbledon, UK on December 13, 1972). Murdoch's companies have published two novels by his then wife: Family Business (1988) and Coming to Terms (1991); both are widely regarded as vanity publications. Anna and Rupert divorced acrimoniously in June, 1999.

Anna Murdoch received a settlement of US$ 1.2 billion in assets. Seventeen days after the divorce, on June 25, 1999, Murdoch, then aged 68, married Chinese-born Deng Wendi (Wendi Deng in Western style). She was 30, a recent Yale School of Management graduate, and a newly appointed vice-president of STAR TV. In October 1999 Anna Murdoch also remarried, to William Mann.

Rupert Murdoch has two children with Deng: Grace (born in New York November 19, 2001) and Chloe (born in New York July 17, 2003).

Murdoch's eldest son Lachlan, formerly the deputy chief operating officer at the News Corporation and the publisher of the New York Post, was Murdoch's heir apparent before resigning from his executive posts at the global media company at the end of July 2005. Lachlan's departure left James, chief executive of the satellite television service British Sky Broadcasting since November 2003, as the only Murdoch son still directly involved with the company's operations, though Lachlan has agreed to remain on the News Corporation's board.

After graduating from Vassar College and marrying classmate Elkin Kwesi Pianim (the son of Ghanaian financial and political mogul Kwame Pianim) in 1993, Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth, along with her husband, purchased a pair of NBC-affiliate television stations KSBW and KSBY in California with a $35 million loan provided by her father. By quickly re-organizing and re-selling them at a $12 million profit, in 1995 Elisabeth emerged as an unexpected rival to her brothers for the eventual leadership of the publishing dynasty's empire. But after quarrelling publicly with her assigned mentor Sam Chisholm at BSkyB, she struck out on her own as a television and film producer in London, where she has enjoyed independent success in conjunction with her second husband, Matthew Freud.

It is not known whether Murdoch will remain as News Corp's CEO indefinitely. For a while the American cable television entrepreneur John Malone was the second-largest voting shareholder in News Corporation after Murdoch himself, potentially undermining the family's control. In 2007, the company announced that it would sell certain assets and give cash to Malone's company in exchange for its stock. In 2007 Murdoch issued his older children with equal voting stock, perhaps to test their individual levels of interest and ability to run the company according to the standards he has set.

Rupert Murdoch has been portrayed by Barry Humphries in the 1991 mini-series Selling Hitler, Hugh Laurie in a parody of It's a Wonderful Life in the television show A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Ben Mendelsohn in Black and White, Paul Elder in The Late Shift and by himself on The Simpsons. Kevin Kline's character Rod McCain in Fierce Creatures is a harsh, thinly-disguised parody of Murdoch; so too is the media tycoon character Elliot Carver (portrayed by Jonathan Pryce) in the James Bond movie Tomorrow Never Dies. Mr. Murdoch is also frequently parodied on MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann. A very crude portrayal by the UK's satirical puppet show Spitting Image shows Mr Murdoch as a very rough and vulgar Australian who frequently lifts a buttock cheek in the air to fart whilst in company.

In 1999, The Economist reported that Newscorp Investments had made £1.4 billion ($2.1 billion) in profits over the previous 11 years but had paid no net corporation tax. It also reported that after an examination of the available accounts, Newscorp could normally have been expected to pay corporate tax of approximately $350 million. The article explained that in practice the corporation's complex structure, international scope and use of offshore tax havens allowed News Corporation to pay minimal taxes.

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Fox News Channel

Exterior of the Fox News Channel studios in New York City

Fox News Channel (FNC) is a US Cable News and satellite news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation. As of January 2005, it is available to 85 million households in the U.S. and further to viewers internationally, broadcasting primarily out of its New York City studios.

The channel was created by Australian-American media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who hired Republican political strategist and former NBC executive Roger Ailes as its founding CEO. The channel was launched on October 7, 1996 to 17 million cable subscribers. The network slowly rose to prominence in the late 1990s. In the United States, Fox News Channel has been rated as the cable news network with the largest number of regular viewers.

Some critics and observers of the channel say that Fox News Channel often promotes conservative political positions, especially among liberal media watch groups such as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) and Media Matters for America. Fox News Channel publicly denies any bias in the channel's reporting.

In May 1985, Australian publisher Rupert Murdoch announced that he and American industrialist and philanthropist Marvin Davis intend to develop "a network of independent stations as a fourth marketing force" to compete directly with CBS, NBC and ABC through the purchase of six television stations then owned by Metromedia. In July 1985, 20th Century Fox announced that publisher Rupert Murdoch had completed his purchase of 50 percent of Fox Filmed Entertainment, the parent company of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation. A year later, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. earned $5.6 million in its fiscal third period ended May 31, 1986, in contrast to a loss of $55.8 million in the year-earlier period.

In February 1996, after well-known former Republican political strategist Roger Ailes left America's Talking (now MSNBC), Murdoch called him to start the Fox News Channel. A group of Ailes loyalists who followed him throughout the NBC empire joined him at Fox. From there, the CNBC expatriates, who joined a team already in place at Fox News, created the programming concept and proceeded to select space in New York. Ailes worked individuals through five months of 14-hour workdays and several weeks of rehearsal shows before launch, on October 7, 1996.

At launch, only 10 million households were able to watch Fox News, with none in the major media markets of New York City and Los Angeles. According to published reports, many media reviewers had to watch the first day's programming at Fox News studios because it was not readily available. The rolling news coverage during the day consisted of 20-minute single topic shows like Fox on Crime or Fox on Politics surrounded by news headlines. Interviews had various facts at the bottom of the screen about the topic or the guest. The flagship newscast at the time was called The Schneider Report, with Mike Schneider giving a fast paced delivery of the news. During the evening, Fox had opinion shows: The O'Reilly Report (now, The O'Reilly Factor), The Crier Report hosted by Catherine Crier, and Hannity & Colmes.

From the beginning, Fox News has placed heavy emphasis on visual presentation. Graphics were designed to be colorful and attention grabbing and to allow people to get the main points of what was being said even if they couldn't hear the host, through the use of on-screen text summarizing the position of the interviewer or speaker and "bullet points" when a host was giving commentary.

Fox News also created the "Fox News Alert," which interrupted regular programming when a breaking news story occurred.

To accelerate its adoption by cable companies, Fox News paid systems up to $11 per subscriber to distribute the network. This contrasted with the normal practice, in which cable operators paid stations carriage fees for the programming of channels. When Time Warner bought out Ted Turner's Turner Broadcasting, a federal antitrust consent decree required Time Warner to carry a second all-news channel in addition to its own CNN. Time Warner selected MSNBC as the secondary news network, instead of Fox News. Fox News claimed that this violated an agreement to carry Fox News. Citing its agreement to keep its U.S. headquarters and a large studio in New York City, News Corporation pressured Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's administration to pressure Time Warner, one of the city's two cable providers, to transmit Fox News on a city-owned channel. City officials threatened to take action affecting Time Warner's cable franchises in the city.

A lawsuit was filed by Time Warner against the City of New York claiming undue interference with, and inappropriate use of, the city's educational channels for commercial programming. News Corporation countered with an antitrust lawsuit against Time Warner for unfairly protecting CNN. This led to an acrimonious battle between Murdoch and Turner, with Turner publicly comparing Murdoch to Adolf Hitler while Murdoch's New York Post ran an editorial questioning Turner's sanity. Giuliani's motives were also questioned, as his wife was a producer at Murdoch-owned WNYW-TV. In the end, Time Warner and News Corporation signed a settlement agreement to permit Fox News to be carried on New York City cable system beginning in October 1997, and on all of Time Warner's cable systems by 2001, though Time Warner still does not carry Fox News in all areas. In return, Time Warner was given some rights to News Corporation's satellites in Asia and Europe to distribute Time Warner programming, would receive the normal compensation per subscriber paid to cable operators, and News Corporation would not object to the continuation of Atlanta Braves baseball games being carried on TBS (which could have expired because of the Fox television network's contract with Major League Baseball).

On May 1, 2008, Fox News launched high definition channel simulcasts of its programming in selected regions of the United States. Time Warner Cable is carrying this channel in New York, NY, San Antonio, TX, and Kansas City, MO, while Cablevision is making it available in New York, NY and on Long Island.

On Friday, October 17, 2008 at 6am ET, DirecTV launched the high-definition channel. This launch was the first national launch of the network in HD. On January 9, 2009, Cox Communications added the HD channel and on February 3, 2009 Dish Network did also.

Fox News Channel maintains an archive of most of its programs. This archive also handles the Fox Movietone newsreels. Licensing of the Fox News archive is handled by ITN Source, the archiving division of Independent Television News.

Fox News Channel presents a variety of programming with up to 15 hours of live programming per day, in addition to programming and content for the Fox Broadcasting Company. Most of the programs are broadcast from Fox News headquarters in New York City in their street-side studio on Sixth Avenue in the west extension of Rockefeller Center. Audio simulcasts of the channel are aired on XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.

With the growth of the Fox News Channel, the network introduced a radio division entitled Fox News Radio in 2003. Syndicated throughout the United States, the division provides short newscasts and talk radio programs, featuring personalities from both the television and radio divisions. In addition, the network has also introduced Fox News Talk in 2006, a satellite radio station which features programs syndicated by and featuring Fox News personalities.

Like other news networks, Fox News Channel produces a news website featuring the latest coverage, including video clips from the network's television division, audio clips from Fox News Radio, in addition to columns from the network's assorted television, radio, and online personalities, and a live streaming segment called Strategy Room. Introduced in December 1995, the network's website ranks below many other news websites, ranking in the lower teens in the list of top news websites.

Fox News Mobile is a part of the Fox News website that is dedicated to streaming news clips that are formatted for video enabled mobile phones.

Fox News Channel HD is 720p high definition simulcast of Fox News Channel. Most of the programs available in HD (Fox & Friends, Glenn Beck, Fox Report, The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, On the Record) are shown in 16:9 widescreen. For the shows broadcast in SD, (with the exception of Special Report) the feed is pushed to the left of the screen, with the extra room used for additional content, such as breaking news headlines, stock quotes, and weather forecasts, with the video upconverted. The side is info named "The Fox HD Wing". Partner channel Fox Business Network HD uses the same format, as well as competitor channel CNBC HD+, and sports channels ESPNews HD and NFL Network HD.

Producing a variety of different programming, Fox News Channel has a number of different program hosts, news anchors, correspondents, and contributors which appear throughout daily programming on the network. The network has a number of different signature hosts, including Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Greta Van Susteren, and Shepard Smith, all of whom host programs which are on the list of the top ten most watched programs on cable news. In January 2009, conservative political commentator Glenn Beck was added to the list of personalities at Fox News Channel.

Fox News saw huge growth in its ratings during the early stages of the Iraq conflict. By some reports, at the height of the conflict they enjoyed as much as a 300 percent increase in viewership, averaging 3.3 million viewers daily.

In 2004, Fox News Channel's ratings for its broadcast of the Republican National Convention beat those of all three broadcast networks. During President George W. Bush's address, Fox News notched 7.3 million viewers nationally, while NBC, CBS, and ABC scored ratings of 5.9, 5.0, and 5.1, respectively.

In late 2005 and early 2006, Fox saw a brief decline in ratings. One of the most notable decline in ratings came in the second quarter of 2006, when compared to the previous quarter, Fox News had a loss in viewership for every single prime time program. One of the most noteworthy losses of viewership was that of Special Report with Brit Hume. The show's total viewership was down 19 percent compared to the previous quarter. However, several weeks later, in the wake of the North Korean Missile Crisis and the 2006 Lebanon War, Fox saw a surge in viewership and remained the #1 rated cable news channel. Fox still held eight of the ten most-watched nightly cable news shows, with The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes coming in first and second places, respectively.

For the year 2007, Fox News was the number-one rated cable news network in the United States. It was down one percent in total daily viewers and down three percent in the 25-54 year old demographic, but it still boasted most of the top-rated shows on cable news led by The O’Reilly Factor. For primetime TV Fox News ranked #6 of all cable networks.

In December 2003, Fox News found itself on the other end of a legal battle concerning the slogan, when AlterNet filed a cancellation petition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to have Fox's trademark rescinded as misdescriptive. AlterNet included the documentary film Outfoxed as supporting evidence in its case. After losing early motions, AlterNet withdrew its petition and the USPTO dismissed the case.

Some critics and politicians have accused Fox News of having a bias towards the political right or Republican point of view at the expense of neutrality. Murdoch and Ailes have reacted against allegations of bias, with Murdoch claiming that Fox has "given room to both sides, whereas only one side had it before." In 2004, director Robert Greenwald produced the documentary film Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism, which argues that Fox News has a conservative bias, including as evidence internal memos from editorial Vice President John Moody which the film claims exposes attempts to alter news content. This was later distributed on DVD by MoveOn.org.

A series of internal memos issued by Fox News V.P. John Moody to news personnel in 2003 and 2004 were leaked to the media in July 2004. These editorial directives contained comments such as " John Kerry may wish he'd taken off his microphone before trashing the GOP". Media watchdog groups such as Media Matters for America cite the leaked memos as evidence that top-down pressure is the source of Fox News channel's pro-Republican bias.

While promoting his memoir, What Happened, Scott McClellan, former White House Press Secretary (2003–2006) for President George W. Bush stated on the July 25, 2008 edition of Hardball with Chris Matthews that the Bush White House routinely gave talking points to Fox News commentators — but not journalists — in order to influence discourse and content. McClellan stated that these talking points were not issued to provide the public with news; instead, they were to provide Fox News commentators with issues and perspectives favorable to the White House and Republican Party. McClellan later apologized to Fox News commentator, Bill O'Reilly for not responding to Matthews' suggestion that "Bill" or "Sean" received the talking points; McClellan said he had no personal knowledge that O'Reilly ever received the talking points. Furthermore he pointed out "the way a couple of questions were phrased in that interview along with my response left things open to interpretation and I should not have let that happen".

The Fox News Channel feed is available internationally, while the Fox News Extra segments provide alternate programming.

Initially, US advertisements were replaced on Fox News with viewer e-mail and profiles of Fox News anchors set to music. In 2002 these were replaced with international weather forecasts. In 2006, the weather segments were replaced with 'Fox News Extra' segments, various narrated reports from FOX reports on a variety of topics. These reports are generally on lighter issues not related to current news events, and the segments are repeated. Fox News Channel also shows international weather forecasts when the Fox News Extra segments run short.

The Fox News feed in the United Kingdom does not feature Fox News Extra, and instead features break fillers from sister channel Sky News's International Variant. For a short period in 2001, a still of the Fox News logo replaced this other content.

In Australia, Fox News Channel is broadcast on the three major Pay-TV providers, Foxtel, Austar and Optus Television. Foxtel is 25 percent owned by News Corporation. The Australian version previously featured some local programming, including a John Laws current affairs program in place of part of Fox & Friends. Local advertisements and promotions are aired in place of every second 'Fox News Extra' segment. Sky News Australia is Fox's sister channel.

Since 2002 Fox News has been broadcast to Brazil, but the commercials are replaced with Fox News Extra. It is broadcast by Sky (satellite operator, a joint-venture between News Corporation and Globosat) and in the digital packages of NET.

On December 14, 2000, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved Fox News Canada on behalf of the Global Television Network, for broadcast in Canada. Fox News Canada was to be a domestic Canadian version of Fox News. The channel, or "specialty television service", was never implemented by Fox, and the deadline for commencement of the service expired on November 24, 2004. That same day, a similar license was granted to Rogers Communications for "MSNBC Canada", which went to air in September 2001. During this period, it was speculated by some, and repeated by Fox News personalities, that the station was being "banned in Canada." The CRTC's previous refusal to grant Fox News an outright license had been contested by some Canadians, as well as American fans of the channel, who believed the decision to be politically motivated. However, it is rare for any American cable network to be licensed in Canada outright.

On November 18, 2004 the CRTC announced that a digital license would be granted to Fox News. In its proposal, Fox News stated, with reference to Fox News Canada, that "Fox News does not intend to implement this service and therefore will not meet the extended deadline to commence operations." On December 16, 2004, Rogers Communications became the first Canadian cable or satellite provider to broadcast Fox News, with other companies following suit within the next several weeks.

In Italy, Fox News was launched, first in Europe, on the now defunct Italian digital satellite television platform Stream TV in 2001. Part of its programming was translated in Italian and broadcasted on the defunct Italian news channel Stream News. In 2003 was moved on SKY Italia with U.S. commercials replaced by Fox News Extra segments and now is available on 4.600.000 subscribers and 160.000 hotel rooms in Italy. SKY TG 24 is one of the sister channel of Fox News.

In New Zealand, Fox News is broadcast on Channel 092 of pay satellite operator SKY TV's digital platform. It is also broadcast overnight on New Zealand TV channel Prime, owned by SKY. Fox News parent corporation News Corp has a stake in both SKY and Prime.

Between 2003 and 2006, in Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries, Fox News was broadcast 16 hours a day on TV8, with Fox News Extra segments replacing U.S. advertising. Fox News was dropped by TV8 and replaced by German news channel Deutsche Welle in September 2006.

Fox News is also carried in the United Kingdom by the British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) satellite television network (Sky Digital) which is 40% owned by Fox's parent News Corporation. It is run as a sister channel to BSkyB's popular Sky News. Fox News is usually broadcast as a VideoGuard encrypted channel but during major news stories it may be simulcast on Sky Active, which is free to air. As of September 2006 the channel has carried UK specific advertising, along with headlines and weather provided by Sky News during its breaks. These run under the brand of Fox News International.

Due to the shared ownership of Fox and Sky, Fox News and Sky News routinely share bureaus and reporters for breaking news stories from around the world.

Fox News Channel is also carried in more than 40 countries. Although service to Japan stopped in the summer of 2003, it can still be seen on Americable (distributor for American bases), Mediatti (Kadena Air Base), and Pan Global TV Japan.

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The Sunday Times

Sunday Times Layout.JPG

The Sunday Times is a Sunday broadsheet newspaper distributed in the United Kingdom. There is also a Republic of Ireland edition; contrary to a popular misconception, the Irish edition of the Sunday Times is not linked to The Irish Times newspaper, which is published Monday to Saturday in Dublin. The Sunday Times is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News International, which is in turn owned by News Corporation. Times Newspapers also owns The Times, but the two papers were founded independently and only came under common ownership in 1966. Rupert Murdoch's News International acquired the papers in 1981. Each year the Sunday Times publishes a Rich List - which tends to boost sales.

While its sister paper, The Times, holds a substantially smaller circulation than the largest-circulation UK quality daily,The Daily Telegraph, The Sunday Times occupies a dominant position in the quality Sunday market; its 1.3m circulation equals The Sunday Telegraph, The Observer and The Independent on Sunday combined. It maintains the larger broadsheet format and has said that it will continue to do so.

Its price rise to £2 from £1.80 in September 2006, the second price rise in two years, has started to cause a slight month-on-month and year-on-year decline in its readership. This has been following a general decline in readership of all Sunday newspapers. To combat this rivals such as The Independent on Sunday relaunched in June 2007 with a more concise approach to its content and sections, while the The Observer has relaunched in a berliner format with colour throughout all sections.

The launch of new News International printers in Summer 2008 has allowed for full colour throughout all pages in the paper.

The paper was launched as The New Observer in 1821, choosing a name similar to the existing Observer newspaper although the two newspapers were unrelated. It was renamed The Independent Observer and then in 1822 The Sunday Times, again without any relationship between itself and The Times.

Rachel Beer acquired the paper in 1893, and Alfred Harmsworth acquired it in 1908. By 1959 it was part of the Kemsley group of newspapers, which was acquired in that year by Lord Thomson. In 1966 Thomson also acquired The Times and formed Times Newspapers Ltd to publish the two papers.

Rupert Murdoch's News International acquired the Times titles in 1981, but the Conservative government never referred the purchase to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, mainly because the previous owners, The Thomson Corporation, had threatened to close the papers down if they were not taken over by someone else within an allotted time, and it was feared that any legal delay to Murdoch's takeover might lead to the two titles' demise. This was despite the fact that the takeover gave Murdoch the control of four national newspapers; The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and the News of the World. News Corp also owns the Fox Network. News International is the majority shareholder ofBSkyB and James Murdoch is CEO.

Control by News Corporation ended the editorial reign of Harold Evans, bringing to a close a period in the paper's history when it was a leading campaigning, investigative and liberal-leaning newspaper. Under Andrew Neil's editorship in the 1980s and early 1990s, The Sunday Times took a strongly Thatcherite and Wienerite slant, and became particularly strongly associated with the view that anti-commercialism among those who traditionally voted for the Conservative Party had actually worked alongside traditional socialism in undermining the UK's economic competitiveness. In this area it strongly opposed the traditional conservatism expounded by Peregrine Worsthorne at the rivalSunday Telegraph.

The Sunday Times publishes The Sunday Times Rich List, an annual survey of the wealthiest people in Britain and Ireland, equivalent to the Forbes 400 list in the USA, and a series of league tables with reviews of private British companies, in particular the Sunday Times Fast Track 100. The paper also publishes an annual league table of British universities and a similar one for Irish universities. It also publishes the Sunday Times Bestseller List of bestselling books in Britain. The Sunday Times also publishes a list on the 100 best UK-based companies to work for.

During the 1990s the paper developed a separate version for the Republic of Ireland. A Dublin office was opened in 1993, run by Alan Ruddock and John Burns. Originally the Irish edition extended to little more than a small number of news stories, some columnists such as Eoghan Harris, and the inclusion of Irish cinema listings and schedules for RTÉ One and RTÉ Two in theCulture section of the paper; but by 2005, a separate printing plant, journalistic offices, and many Irish journalists including Liam Fay, Richard Oakley, Mark Tighe and Colin Coyle who write solely for the Irish edition have led to most of the main news section as well as all other sections being editionalised for Ireland.

The Irish issue sells about 140,000 copies per week across the paper's entire circulation area, which includes a separate edition for Northern Ireland edited by Liam Clarke. The current Irish editor is Frank Fitzgibbon, a founder of the Sunday Business Post.

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News Limited

News Limited was the principal holding for the business interests of Rupert Murdoch until the formation of News Corporation in 1979. News Limited is now a subsidiary of that company.

Rupert Murdoch inherited the Adelaide News in 1952 following the death of his father, Sir Keith Murdoch. This paper has been described by Bruce Page as the "foundation stone" of News Ltd (and News Corp).

Over the next few years, Murdoch gradually established himself as one of the most dynamic media proprietors in Australia, quickly expanding his holdings by acquiring a string of daily and suburban newspapers in most capital cities, including the Sydney afternoon paper, The Daily Mirror, as well as a small Sydney-based recording company, Festival Records. His acquisition of the Mirror proved crucial to his success, allowing him to challenge the dominance of his two main rivals in the Sydney market, the Fairfax Newspapers group, which published the hugely profitable Sydney Morning Herald, and the Consolidated Press group, owned by Sir Frank Packer, which published the city's leading tabloid paper, the Daily Telegraph.

In 1964, News Limited made its next important advance when it established The Australian, Australia's first national daily newspaper, based first in Canberra and later in Sydney. The Australian, a broadsheet, gave News Ltd. a new respectability as a "quality" newspaper publisher, and also greater political influence since The Australian has always had an elite readership, if not always a large circulation.

In 1972, News Ltd. acquired the Sydney-based Daily Telegraph from Sir Frank Packer, making Murdoch one of the "big three" newspaper proprietors in Australia, along with Fairfax Media in Sydney and his father's old Herald and Weekly Times Ltd in Melbourne. In the 1972 elections, Murdoch swung his newspapers' support behind Gough Whitlam and the leftist Australian Labor Party, but by 1975 he had turned against Labor, and since then has almost always supported the rightist Liberal Party.

Over the next ten years, as his press empire grew, Murdoch established a hugely lucrative financial base, and these profits were routinely used to subsidise further acquisitions. In his early years of newspaper ownership Murdoch was an aggressive, micromanaging entrepreneur. His standard tactic was to buy loss-making Australian newspapers and turn them around by introducing radical management and editorial changes and fighting no-holds-barred circulation wars with his competitors. By the 1970s, this power base was so strong that Murdoch was able to acquire leading newspapers and magazines in both London and New York, as well as many other media holdings.

On the 12th July 2006, News Limited announced the creation of a new division, News Digital Media. The operations of News Digital Media will include the news site, NEWS.com.au; the online marketplace sites, carsguide.com.au, truelocal.com.au and careerone.com.au as well as the partly owned realestate.com.au, foxsports.com.au and related activities involving foxtel and the company’s newspapers and the Australian versions of Fox Interactive Media sites MySpace and IGN. Chairman and chief executive of News Limited, John Hartigan, announced the appointment of Richard Freudenstein as chief executive of the division.

Murdoch's desire for dominant cross-media ownership manifested early—in 1961 he bought an ailing Australian record label, Festival Records, and within a few years it had become the leading local recording company. He also bought a television station in Wollongong, New South Wales, hoping to use it to break into the Sydney television market, but found himself frustrated by Australia's cross-media ownership laws, which prevented him from owning both a major newspaper and television station in the same city. Since then he has consistently lobbied, both personally and through his papers, to have these laws changed in his favour. This occurred in 2006 when the Liberal-National Coalition Government, having gained control of both houses of the Australian Parliament, introduced reforms to cross-media ownership and foreign media ownership laws. The laws came into effect in early 2007.

News Limited has nearly three-quarters of daily metropolitan newspaper circulation and so maintains great influence in Australia. Internal News Limited documents reveal a brazen offer during the 2001 Federal election campaign to promote the policies of a major party in its best-selling newspapers nation-wide for almost $500,000. Other documents include a marginal seats guide written by a senior business manager for internal use. It evidences a corporate strategy to target marginal seats at the 2004 election. Some of the documents appeared on Media Watch but received very little coverage.

Murdoch moved to Britain and rapidly became a major force there after his acquisitions of the News of the World, and The Sun in 1969 and The Times and The Sunday Times in 1981, which he bought in 1981 from the Thomson family. Both takeovers further reinforced his growing reputation as a ruthless and cunning business operator. His takeover of The Times aroused great hostility among traditionalists, who feared he would take it "downmarket." This led directly to the founding of The Independent in 1986 as an alternative quality daily.

Murdoch made his first acquisition in the United States in 1973, when he purchased the San Antonio News. Soon afterwards he founded the National Star, a supermarket tabloid, and in 1976 he purchased the New York Post. Subsequent acquisitions were undertaken through News Corporation.

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New York Post

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The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and generally acknowledged as the oldest to have been published continually as a daily, although -- like most other papers -- its publication has been interrupted by labor actions. Since 1993, it has been owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which previously had owned it from 1976 to 1988, and is the 6th largest newspaper in the U.S. by circulation. Its editorial offices are located at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, in the New York City borough of Manhattan.

The New York Post, established 1801, describes itself as the nation's oldest continuously published daily newspaper. The Hartford Courant, which describes itself as the nation's oldest continuously published newspaper, was founded in 1764 as a semi-weekly paper; it did not begin publishing daily until 1836. The New Hampshire Gazette, which has trademarked its claim of being The Nation's Oldest Newspaper, was founded in 1756, also as a weekly. Moreover, since the 1890s it has been published only for weekends.

The Post was founded by Alexander Hamilton with about US$10,000 from a group of investors in the autumn of 1801 as the New-York Evening Post, a broadsheet. Hamilton's co-investors included other New York members of the Federalist Party, such as Robert Troup and Oliver Wolcott, who were dismayed by the election of Thomas Jefferson and the rise in popularity of the Democratic-Republican Party. The meeting at which Hamilton first recruited investors for the new paper took place in the country weekend villa that is now Gracie Mansion. Hamilton chose for his first editor William Coleman, but the most famous 19th century Evening Post editor was the poet and abolitionist William Cullen Bryant. So well respected was the Evening Post under Bryant's editorship, it received praise from the English philosopher John Stuart Mill, in 1864.

In 1881 Henry Villard took control of the Evening Post, which in 1897 passed to the management of his son, Oswald Garrison Villard, a founding member of both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the American Civil Liberties Union. Villard sold the paper in 1918, after widespread allegations of pro-German sympathies during World War I hurt its circulation. The buyer was Thomas Lamont, a senior partner in the Wall Street firm of J.P. Morgan. Unable to stem the paper's financial losses, he sold it to a consortium of 34 financial and reform political leaders, headed by Edwin F. Gay, dean of the Harvard Business School, whose members included Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Conservative Cyrus H. K. Curtis—publisher of the Ladies Home Journal—purchased the New York Evening Post in 1924 and briefly turned it into a non-sensational tabloid in 1933. J. David Stern purchased the paper in 1934, changed its name to the New York Post, and restored its size and liberal perspective.

Dorothy Schiff purchased the paper in 1939; her husband, George Backer, was named editor and publisher. Her second editor (and third husband) Ted Thackrey became co-publisher and co-editor with Schiff in 1942, and recast the newspaper into its current tabloid format. James Wechsler became editor of the paper in 1949, running both the news and the editorial pages; in 1961, he turned over the news section to Paul Sann and remained as editorial page editor until 1980. Under Schiff's tenure the Post was devoted to liberalism, supporting trade unions and social welfare, and featured some of the most popular columnists of the time, such as Drew Pearson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Max Lerner, Murray Kempton, Pete Hamill, and Eric Sevareid, in addition to theatre critic Richard Watts, Jr. and Broadway columnist Earl Wilson. In 1976 the Post was bought by Rupert Murdoch for $30 million. The Post at this point was the only surviving afternoon daily in New York City, but its circulation under Schiff had grown by two-thirds.

Murdoch imported the sensationalist "tabloid journalism" style of his British tabloid papers such as The Sun, typified by the Post's famous April 15, 1983 headline: HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR. In its 35th anniversary edition, New York Magazine listed this as one of the greatest headlines ever.

Because of the institution of federal regulations limiting media cross-ownership after Murdoch's purchase of WNYW-TV to launch the Fox broadcast network, Murdoch was forced to sell the paper for $37.6 million in 1988 to Peter S. Kalikow, a real estate magnate with no news experience. When Kalikow declared bankruptcy in 1993, the paper was temporarily managed by Steven Hoffenberg, a financier who later pled guilty to securities fraud; and, for two weeks, by Abe Hirschfeld, who made his fortune building parking garages. The Post was repurchased in 1993 by Murdoch's News Corporation, after numerous political officials, including Democratic New York Governor Mario Cuomo, persuaded the Federal Communications Commission to grant Murdoch a permanent waiver from the cross-ownership rules that had forced him to sell the paper five years earlier.

Under Murdoch's renewed direction, the paper continued its conservative editorial viewpoint.

In 1996, the Post launched an online version of the paper NYPOST.com. The original site included color photos and sections broken down into: News, Sports, Editorial, Gossip, Entertainment and Business. It also had an archive for the past 7 days. Since then, it has been redesigned a number of times — with the latest incarnation launched in September 28, 2006. In 2005 the Post implemented an online registration but removed it in July 2006.

The current website also features continually updated breaking news; entertainment, business, and sports blogs; links to Page Six Magazine; photo and video galleries; original NY Post videos; user-submitted photos and comments; and streaming video for live events.

The paper is well known for its sports section, which has been praised for its comprehensiveness; it begins on the back page, and among other coverage, contains columns about sports in the media by Phil Mushnick.

The New York Post is also well known for its gossip columnists Liz Smith and Cindy Adams. The best known gossip section is "Page Six", created by the late James Brady and edited by Richard Johnson. February 2006 saw the debut of Page Six Magazine, distributed free inside the paper. In September 2007, it started to be distributed weekly in the Sunday New York Post. In January 2009, circulation for Page Six Magazine was cut to four times a year.

The daily circulation of the Post decreased in the final years of the Schiff era from 700,000 in the late 1960s to approximately 418,000. A resurgence during the 21st century increased circulation to 724,748 in April, 2007, achieved partly by lowering the price from 50 to 25 cents. During October, 2006, the Post for the first time ever passed its rival, the Daily News, in circulation. The Daily News has since regained the lead over the Post. Since then, the Post is now at over 600,000 in daily circulation.

One commentator has suggested that the Post cannot become profitable as long as the competing Daily News survives, and that Murdoch may be trying to force the Daily News to fold or sell out.

The New York Post website also has high traffic. According to recent Nielson net ratings, the site ranks 8th in number of unique visitors to online newspapers.

Perhaps the most serious allegation against the Post is that it is willing to contort its news coverage to suit the business needs of Murdoch, in particular that the paper has avoided reporting anything that is unflattering to the government of the People's Republic of China. Murdoch has invested heavily in satellite television in China and wants to maintain the favor of local media regulators.

According to a survey conducted by Pace University in 2004, the New York Post was rated the least credible major news outlet in New York, and the only news outlet to receive more responses calling it "not credible" than credible (44% not credible to 39% credible).

The Public Enemy song "A Letter to the New York Post" from their album Apocalypse '91...The Enemy Strikes Black is a complaint about what they believed to be negative and inaccurate coverage African-Americans received from the paper.

The Post and the Daily News often take potshots at each other's articles and their accuracy, particularly in their respective gossip-page items, saying that the juicy information printed about some celebrity or other has been checked, and that the celebrity or his/her publicist has denied it.

In certain editions of the February 14, 2007, newspaper, an article referring to Senator Hillary Clinton's support base for her 2008 presidential run referred to Senator Barack Obama as "Osama" (Bin Laden), the paper realized its error and corrected it for the newer editions and the website. The Post noted the error and apologized in the February 15, 2007 edition. Earlier, on January 20, 2007, the New York Post received some criticism for running a potentially misleading headline, "'Osama' Mud Flies at Obama", for a story that discussed rumors that Sen. Obama had been raised as a Muslim and concealed it.

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Dow Jones & Company

Dow Jones & Company is an American publishing and financial information firm.

The company was founded in 1882 by three reporters: Charles Dow, Edward Jones and Charles Bergstresser. Like The New York Times and the Washington Post, the company was in recent years publicly traded but privately controlled. The company was led by the Bancroft family, which effectively controlled 64% of all voting stock, before being acquired by News Corporation.

Other consumer-oriented publications of Dow Jones include Barron's Magazine, a weekly overview of the world economy and markets; MarketWatch.com, the online financial news site; the monthly journal Far Eastern Economic Review; and the consumer magazine SmartMoney in conjunction with the Hearst Corporation.

Dow Jones also owns Ottaway Newspapers, Inc., which publishes several community newspapers in the U.S.

The Dow Jones Enterprise Media Group provides financial news and information primarily to business customers. Its products combine content and technology tools to help drive decisions. Major brands include Dow Jones Newswires, Dow Jones Factiva, Dow Jones Indexes, Dow Jones Client Solutions and Dow Jones Financial Information Services.

In broadcasting, Dow Jones provides news content to CNBC in the U.S. It produces two shows for commercial radio, The Wall Street Journal Report and The Dow Jones Report.

The Bancroft family and heirs of Clarence W. Barron, once effectively controlled the company class B shares, each with a voting power of 10 regular shares prior to its sale to News Corp. At one time, they controlled 64% of Dow Jones voting stock.

On May 1, 2007, Dow Jones released a statement confirming that News Corporation, led by Rupert Murdoch, had made an unsolicited offer of $60 per share, or $5 billion, for Dow Jones. Stock was briefly halted for pending press release. The halt lasted under 10 minutes while CNBC was receiving data. It has been suggested that the buyout offer is related to Murdoch's new cable business news channel Fox Business that launched in 2007. The Dow Jones brand brings instant credibility to the project.

In June MySpace founder Brad Greenspan put forth a bid to buy 25% of the Dow for $60 a share, the same price per share as News Corporation's. Greenspans offer is for $1.25 billion for 25% of the company.

On July 17, 2007 The Wall Street Journal, a unit of Dow Jones reported that the company and News Corporation have agreed in principle on a US$5 billion take over and that the offer will be put to the full Dow Jones board on the same evening in New York. The offer values the company at 70% more than the company's market value.

On July 21, 2007, Channel News Asia reports Internet tycoon and MySpace.com founder Brad Greenspan offers new plan for Dow Jones to foil Murdoch's offer of the US$5 billion Dow Jones buyout.

The Internet entrepreneur who last month bid for a stake in Dow Jones & Co. on Friday made a new offer aimed at helping controlling family shareholders find an alternative to an offer from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

The latest announcement from Brad Greenspan, the founder of the MySpace social network website, came after Dow Jones’ board members accepted Murdoch's five-billion-dollar bid that was to be debated by the Bancroft family, which controls a majority voting stake.

Greenspan's revised offer calls for his investment group to provide a loan of between 400 million and 600 million dollars to Bancroft family members "to buy out liquidity-seeking family members" at 60 dollars per share -- matching the Murdoch offer.

The plan also calls for a recapitalization of the company by issuing debt and expanding into a number of online ventures to benefit from the brand name of Dow Jones and its key asset, The Wall Street Journal.

For too long, Dow Jones has limited its focus to the world of print media and allowed other, less established entities to generate millions of dollars in profits by developing financial reporting franchises on the Internet and cable television.

Upon investigating suspicious share price movements in the run-up to the announcement, the SEC alleged that board member Sir David Li, one of Hong Kong's most prominent businessmen, had informed his close friend and business associate Michael Leung of the impending offer. Leung had acted on this information by telling his daughter and son-in-law, who reaped a US$8.2 million profit from the transaction.

Prior to its sale to News Corp, the last members of the board of directors of the company were: Christopher Bancroft, Lewis B. Campbell, Michael Elefante, John Engler, Harvey Golub, Leslie Hill, Irvine Hockaday, Peter Kann, David Li, M. Peter McPherson (Chairman), Frank Newman, James Ottaway, Elizabeth Steele, and William Steere.

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Source : Wikipedia