Rupert Murdoch Net Worth & Biography

By Mixxerly Updated: SEPTEMBER 22, 2021

Introduction

NET WORTH

$25B

Rupert Murdoch is an Australian-born American media mogul. Through his company News Corp, he is the owner of hundreds of local, national, and international publishing outlets around the world, including in the UK (The Sun and The Times), in Australia (The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun and The Australian), in the US (The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post), book publisher HarperCollins, and the television broadcasting channels Sky News Australia and Fox News (through the Fox Corporation). He was also the owner of Sky (until 2018), 21st Century Fox (until 2019), and the now-defunct News of the World.

After his father's death in 1952, Murdoch took over the running of The News, a small Adelaide newspaper owned by his father. In the 1950s and 1960s, Murdoch acquired a number of newspapers in Australia and New Zealand before expanding into the United Kingdom in 1969, taking over the News of the World, followed closely by The Sun.

In 1974, Murdoch moved to New York City, to expand into the U.S. market; however, he retained interests in Australia and Britain. In 1981, Murdoch bought The Times, his first British broadsheet, and, in 1985, became a naturalized U.S. citizen, giving up his Australian citizenship, to satisfy the legal requirement for U.S. television network ownership. As of , Rupert Murdoch has an estimated net worth of about $25B.

At a Glance

Full name: Keith Rupert Murdoch

Other names: Rupert Murdoch

Birthday: 11 March 1931

Age:

Net worth: $25B

Occupation: Businessman, Entrepreneur, Media Mogul, Investor.

Nationality: Australian-American. Citizen of the United States of America since 1985.

Net Worth

In 1986, keen to adopt newer electronic publishing technologies, Murdoch consolidated his UK printing operations in London, causing bitter industrial disputes. His holding company News Corporation acquired Twentieth Century Fox (1985), HarperCollins (1989), and The Wall Street Journal (2007). Murdoch formed the British broadcaster 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 phones of celebrities, royalty, and public citizens. Murdoch faced police and government investigations into bribery and corruption by the British government and FBI investigations in the U.S. On 21 July 2012, Murdoch resigned as a director of News International.

Many of Murdoch's papers and television channels have been accused of biased and misleading coverage to support his business interests and political allies, and some have credited his influence with major political developments in the UK, U.S., and Australia. As of , Rupert Murdoch has an estimated net worth of about $25B.

Early Life

Keith Rupert Murdoch was born on 11 March 1931 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, the son of Sir Keith Murdoch (1885–1952) and Dame Elisabeth Murdoch (née Greene; 1909–2012). He is of English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. Murdoch's parents were also born in Melbourne. Keith Murdoch was a war correspondent and later a regional newspaper magnate owning two newspapers in Adelaide, South Australia, and a radio station in a faraway mining town, and chairman of the powerful Herald and Weekly Times publishing company. Later in life, Keith Rupert chose to go by his second name, the first name of his maternal grandfather.

Rupert Murdoch had three sisters: Janet Calvert-Jones, Anne Kantor and Helen Handbury (1929–2004). He attended Geelong Grammar School, where he was co-editor of the school's official journal The Corian and editor of the student journal If Revived. He took his school's cricket team to the National Junior Finals. He worked part-time at the Melbourne Herald and was groomed by his father to take over the family business. Murdoch studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Worcester College, Oxford in England, where he kept a bust of Lenin in his rooms and came to be known as "Red Rupert". He was a member of the Oxford University Labour Party, stood for Secretary of the Labour Club and managed Oxford Student Publications Limited, the publishing house of Cherwell.

After his father's death from cancer in 1952, his mother Elisabeth did charity work as life governor of the Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne and established the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. At the age of 102 (in 2011), she had 74 descendants. Murdoch completed an MA before working as a sub-editor with the Daily Express for two years.

Favorite Quotes from Rupert Murdoch

“The Internet has been the most fundamental change during my lifetime and for hundreds of years.” – Rupert Murdoch
“As an immigrant, I chose to live in America because it is one of the freest and most vibrant nations in the world. And as an immigrant, I feel an obligation to speak up for immigration policies that will keep America the most economically robust, creative and freedom-loving nation in the world.” – Rupert Murdoch
“The Internet has been the most fundamental change during my lifetime and for hundreds of years. Someone the other day said, “It’s the biggest thing since Gutenberg,” and then someone else said, “No, it’s the biggest thing since the invention of writing.” – Rupert Murdoch
“Climate change poses clear, catastrophic threats. We may not agree on the extent, but we certainly can’t afford the risk of inaction.” – Rupert Murdoch
“You can’t build a strong corporation with a lot of committees and a board that has to be consulted every turn. You have to be able to make decisions on your own.” – Rupert Murdoch

Activities in Australia and New Zealand

Following his father's death, when he was 21, Murdoch returned from Oxford to take charge of what was left of the family business. After liquidation of his father's Herald stake to pay taxes, what was left was News Limited, which had been established in 1923.:16 Rupert Murdoch turned its Adelaide newspaper, The News, its main asset, into a major success. He began to direct his attention to acquisition and expansion, buying the troubled Sunday Times in Perth, Western Australia (1956) and over the next few years acquiring suburban and provincial newspapers in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the Northern Territory, including the Sydney afternoon tabloid, The Daily Mirror (1960). The Economist describes Murdoch as "inventing the modern tabloid", as he developed a pattern for his newspapers, increasing sports and scandal coverage and adopting eye-catching headlines.

Murdoch's 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 Wellington paper by the British-based Canadian newspaper magnate, Lord Thomson of Fleet. On the spur of the moment, he launched a counter-bid. A four-way battle for control ensued in which the 32-year-old Murdoch was ultimately successful.

Later in 1964, Murdoch launched The Australian, Australia's first national daily newspaper, which was based first in Canberra and later in Sydney. In 1972, Murdoch acquired the Sydney morning tabloid The Daily Telegraph from Australian media mogul Sir Frank Packer, who later regretted selling it to him. In 1984, Murdoch was appointed Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) for services to publishing.

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.

Political Activities in Australia

Murdoch found a political ally in Sir John McEwen, leader of the Australian Country Party (now known as the National Party of Australia), who was governing in coalition with the larger Menzies-Holt-Gorton Liberal Party. From the first issue of The Australian, Murdoch began taking McEwen's side in every issue that divided the long-serving coalition partners. (The Australian, 15 July 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.

After McEwen and Menzies retired, Murdoch threw his growing power behind the Australian Labor Party under the leadership of Gough Whitlam and duly saw it elected 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 backing of Whitlam turned out to be brief. Murdoch had already started his short-lived National Star newspaper in America, and was seeking to strengthen his political contacts there.

Asked about the 2007 Australian federal election at News Corporation's annual general meeting in New York on 19 October 2007, its chairman Rupert Murdoch said, "I am not commenting on anything to do with Australian politics. I'm sorry. I always get into trouble when I do that." Pressed as to whether he believed Prime Minister John Howard should continue as prime minister, he said:

"I have nothing further to say. I'm sorry. Read our editorials in the papers. It'll be the journalists who decide that – the editors."

In 2009, in response to accusations by Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that News Limited was running vendettas against him and his government, Murdoch opined that Rudd was "oversensitive". Murdoch described Howard's successor, Labor Party Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, as "...more ambitious to lead the world [in tackling climate change] than to lead Australia..." and criticised Rudd's expansionary fiscal policies in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007–2008 as unnecessary.

Although News Limited's interests are extensive, also including the Daily Telegraph, the Courier-Mail and the Adelaide Advertiser, it was suggested by the commentator Mungo MacCallum in The Monthly that "the anti-Rudd push, if coordinated at all, was almost certainly locally driven" as opposed to being directed by Murdoch, who also took a different position from local editors on such matters as climate change and stimulus packages to combat the financial crisis.

Murdoch is a supporter of an Australian republic, having campaigned for one during the 1999 referendum.

Activities in the United Kingdom

Business activities in the United Kingdom

In 1968, Murdoch entered the British newspaper market with his acquisition of the populist News of the World, followed in 1969 with the purchase of the struggling daily The Sun from IPC. Murdoch turned The Sun into a tabloid format and reduced costs by using the same printing press for both newspapers. On acquiring it, he appointed Albert 'Larry' Lamb as editor and – Lamb recalled later – told him: "I want a tearaway paper with lots of tits in it".

In 1997 The Sun attracted 10 million daily readers. In 1981, Murdoch acquired the struggling Times and Sunday Times from Canadian newspaper publisher Lord Thomson of Fleet. Ownership of The Times came to him through his relationship with Lord Thomson, who had grown tired of losing money on it as a result of an extended period of industrial action that stopped publication. In the light of success and expansion at The Sun the owners believed that Murdoch could turn the papers around. Harold Evans, editor of the Sunday Times from 1967, was switched to the daily Times, though he stayed only a year amid editorial conflict with Murdoch.

During the 1980s and early 1990s, Murdoch's publications were generally supportive of Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. At the end of the Thatcher/Major era, Murdoch switched his support to the Labour Party and its 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.

This later changed, with The Sun, in its English editions, publicly renouncing the ruling Labour government and lending its support to David Cameron's Conservative Party, which soon afterwards formed a coalition government. In Scotland, where the Conservatives had suffered a complete annihilation in 1997, the paper began to endorse the Scottish National Party (though not yet its flagship policy of independence), which soon after came to form the first ever outright majority in the proportionally elected Scottish Parliament. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's official spokesman said in November 2009 that Brown and Murdoch "were in regular communication" and that "there is nothing unusual in the prime minister talking to Rupert Murdoch".

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 purpose-built publishing facility in an old warehouse.

The bitter Wapping dispute started with the dismissal of 6,000 employees who had gone on strike and resulted in street battles and demonstrations. Many on the political left in Britain alleged the collusion of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government with Murdoch in the Wapping affair, as a way of damaging the British trade union movement. In 1987, the dismissed workers accepted a settlement of £60 million.
In 1998, Murdoch made an attempt to buy the football club Manchester United F.C., with an offer of £625 million, but this failed. It was the largest amount ever offered for a sports club. It was blocked 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".

Murdoch's British-based satellite network, Sky Television, incurred massive losses in its early years of operation. As with many of his other business interests, Sky was heavily subsidised by the profits generated by his other holdings, but convinced rival satellite operator British Satellite Broadcasting to accept a merger on his terms in 1990. The merged company, BSkyB, has dominated the British pay-TV market ever since pursuing direct to home (DTH) satellite broadcasting. By 1996, BSkyB had more than 3.6 million subscribers, triple the number of cable customers in the UK. Murdoch has a seat on the Strategic Advisory Board of Genie Oil and Gas, having jointly investing with Lord Rothschild in a 5.5% stake in the company which conducted shale gas and oil exploration in Colorado, Mongolia, Israel and, controversially, the occupied Golan Heights.

In response to print media's decline and the increasing influence of online journalism during the 2000s, Murdoch proclaimed his support of the micropayments model for obtaining revenue from on-line news, although this has been criticised by some.

In January 2018, the CMA blocked Murdoch from taking over the remaining 61% of BSkyB he did not already own, over fear of market dominance that could potentialise censorship of the media. His bid for BSkyB was later approved by the CMA as long as he sold Sky News to The Walt Disney Company, who was already set to acquire 21st Century Fox. However, it was Comcast who won control of BSkyB in a blind auction ordered by the CMA. Murdoch ultimately sold his 39% of BSkyB to Comcast.

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 percent of its profits.

Political activities in United Kingdom

In Britain, in the 1980s, Murdoch formed a close alliance with Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher. In February 1981, when Murdoch, already owner of The Sun and The News of the World, sought to buy The Times and The Sunday Times, Thatcher's government let his bid pass without referring it to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, which was usual practice at the time. Although contact between the two before this point had been explicitly denied in an official history of The Times, documents found in Thatcher's archives in 2012 revealed a secret meeting had taken place a month before in which Murdoch briefed Thatcher on his plans for the paper, such as taking on trade unions.

The Sun credited itself with helping her successor John Major to win an unexpected election victory in the 1992 general election, which had been expected to end in a hung parliament or a narrow win for Labour, then led by Neil Kinnock.

The Labour Party, from when Tony Blair became leader in 1994, had moved from the centre-left to a more centrist position on many economic issues prior to 1997. Murdoch identifies himself as a libertarian, saying "What does libertarian mean? As much individual responsibility as possible, as little government as possible, as few rules as possible. But I'm not saying it should be taken to the absolute limit."

In a speech he delivered in New York in 2005, Murdoch claimed that Blair described the BBC coverage of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, which was critical of the Bush administration's response, as full of hatred of America.

On 28 June 2006, the BBC reported that Murdoch and News Corporation were considering backing new Conservative leader David Cameron at the next General Election – still up to four years away. In a later interview in July 2006, when he was asked what he thought of the Conservative leader, Murdoch replied "Not much". In a 2009 blog, it was suggested that in the aftermath of the News of the World phone hacking scandal which might yet have Transatlantic implications Murdoch and News Corporation might have decided to back Cameron. Despite this, there had already been a convergence of interests between the two men over the muting of Britain's communications regulator Ofcom.

In August 2008, British Conservative leader and future Prime Minister David Cameron accepted free flights to hold private talks and attend private parties with Murdoch on his yacht, the Rosehearty. Cameron 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 did not reveal his talks with Murdoch. The gift of travel in Freud's Gulfstream IV private jet was valued at around £30,000. Other 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 did not disclose what was discussed.

In July 2011, it emerged that Cameron had met key executives of Murdoch's News Corporation a total of 26 times during the 14 months that Cameron had served as Prime Minister up to that point. It was also reported that Murdoch had given Cameron a personal guarantee that there would be no risk attached to hiring Andy Coulson, the former editor of News of the World, as the Conservative Party's communication director in 2007. This was in spite of Coulson having resigned as editor over phone hacking by a reporter. Cameron chose to take Murdoch's advice, despite warnings from Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Lord Ashdown and The Guardian. Coulson resigned his post in 2011 and was later arrested and questioned on allegations of further criminal activity at the News of the World, specifically the News International phone hacking scandal. As a result of the subsequent trial, Coulson was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

In June 2016, The Sun supported Vote Leave in the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum. Murdoch called the Brexit result "wonderful", comparing the decision to withdraw from the EU to "a prison break….we're out".

Activities in the United States

Murdoch made his first acquisition in the United States in 1973, when he purchased the San Antonio Express-News. In 1974, Murdoch moved to New York City, to expand into the U.S. market; however, he retained interests in Australia and Britain. Soon afterwards, he founded Star, a supermarket tabloid, and in 1976, he purchased the New York Post. On 4 September 1985, Murdoch became a naturalized citizen to satisfy the legal requirement that only US citizens were permitted to own US television stations.

In March 1984, Marvin Davis sold Marc Rich's interest in 20th Century Fox to Murdoch for $250 million due to Rich's trade deals with Iran, which were sanctioned by the US at the time. Davis later backed out of a deal with Murdoch to purchase John Kluge's Metromedia television stations. Rupert Murdoch bought the stations by himself, without Marvin Davis, and later bought out Davis's remaining stake in Fox for $325 million. The six television stations owned by Metromedia formed the nucleus of the Fox Broadcasting Company, founded on 9 October 1986, which later had great success with programs including The Simpsons and The X-Files.

In 1986 Murdoch bought Misty Mountain, a Wallace Neff designed house on Angelo Drive in Beverly Hills. The house was the former residence of Jules C. Stein. Murdoch sold the house to his son James in 2018.

In Australia, during 1987, he bought The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd., the company that his father had once managed. Rupert Murdoch's 20th Century Fox bought out the remaining assets of Four Star Television from Ronald Perelman's Compact Video in 1996. Most of Four Star Television's library of programs are controlled by 20th Century Fox Television today. After Murdoch's numerous buyouts during the buyout era of the eighties, News Corporation had built up financial debts of $7 billion (much from Sky TV in the UK), despite the many assets that were held by NewsCorp. The high levels of debt caused Murdoch to sell many of the American magazine interests he had acquired in the mid-1980s.

In 1993, Murdoch's Fox Network took exclusive coverage of the National Football Conference (NFC) of the National Football League (NFL) from CBS and increased programming to seven days a week. In 1995, Fox 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 favour, stating that his ownership of Fox was in the best interests of the public.

That same year, Murdoch announced a deal with MCI Communications to develop a major news website and magazine, The Weekly Standard. Also that year, News Corporation 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. Ratings studies released in 2009 showed that the network was responsible for nine of the top ten programs in the "Cable News" category at that time.

Rupert Murdoch and Ted Turner (founder and former owner of CNN) are long-standing rivals. In late 2003, Murdoch acquired a 34% stake in Hughes Electronics, the operator of the largest American satellite TV system, DirecTV, from General Motors for $6 billion (USD). His Fox movie studio had global hits with Titanic and Avatar.

In 2004, Murdoch announced that he was moving News Corporation 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.

On 20 July 2005, News Corporation bought Intermix Media Inc., which held Myspace, Imagine Games Network and other social networking-themed websites, for US$580 million, making Murdoch a major player in online media concerns. In June 2011, it sold off Myspace for US$35 million. On 11 September 2005, News Corporation announced that it would buy IGN Entertainment for $650 million (USD).

In May 2007, Murdoch made a $5 billion offer to purchase Dow Jones & Company. At the time, the Bancroft family, who had owned Dow Jones & Company for 105 years and controlled 64% of the shares at the time, declined the offer. Later, the Bancroft family confirmed a willingness to consider a sale. Besides Murdoch, the Associated Press reported that supermarket magnate Ron Burkle and Internet entrepreneur Brad Greenspan were among the other interested parties. In 2007, Murdoch acquired Dow Jones & Company, which gave him such publications as The Wall Street Journal, Barron's Magazine, the Far Eastern Economic Review (based in Hong Kong) and SmartMoney.

In June 2014, Murdoch's 21st Century Fox made a bid for Time Warner at $85 per share in stock and cash ($80 billion total) which Time Warner's board of directors turned down in July. Warner's CNN unit would have been sold to ease antitrust issues of the purchase. On 5 August 2014 the company announced it had withdrawn its offer for Time Warner, and said it would spend $6 billion buying back its own shares over the following 12 months.

Murdoch left his post as CEO of 21st Century Fox in 2015 but continued to own the company until it was purchased by Disney in 2019. A number of television broadcasting assets were spun off into the Fox Corporation before the acquisition and are still owned by Murdoch. This includes Fox News, of which Murdoch was acting CEO from 2016 until 2019, following the resignation of Roger Ailes due to accusations of sexual harassment.

Political activities in the United States

McKnight (2010) identifies four characteristics of his media operations: free market ideology; unified positions on matters of public policy; global editorial meetings; and opposition to liberal bias in other public media.

In The New Yorker, Ken Auletta writes that Murdoch's support for Edward I. Koch while he was running for mayor of New York "spilled over onto the news pages of the Post, with the paper regularly publishing glowing stories about Koch and sometimes savage accounts of his four primary opponents."

According to The New York Times, Ronald Reagan's campaign team credited Murdoch and the Post for his victory in New York in the 1980 United States presidential election. Reagan later "waived a prohibition against owning a television station and a newspaper in the same market," allowing Murdoch to continue to control The New York Post and The Boston Herald while expanding into television.

On 8 May 2006, the Financial Times reported that Murdoch would be hosting a fund-raiser for Senator Hillary Clinton's (D-New York) Senate re-election campaign. In a 2008 interview with Walt Mossberg, Murdoch was asked whether he had "anything to do with the New York Post's endorsement of Barack Obama in the democratic primaries". Without hesitating, Murdoch replied, "Yeah. He is a rock star. It's fantastic. I love what he is saying about education. I don't think he will win Florida [...] but he will win in Ohio and the election. I am anxious to meet him. I want to see if he will walk the walk." Murdoch is a strong supporter of Israel and its domestic policies.

In 2010, News Corporation gave US$1 million to the Republican Governors Association and $1 million to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Murdoch also served on the board of directors of the libertarian Cato Institute. Murdoch is also a supporter of the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act.

Murdoch advocates more open immigration policies in western nations generally. In the United States, Murdoch and chief executives from several major corporations, including Hewlett-Packard, Boeing and Disney joined New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to form the Partnership for a New American Economy to advocate "for immigration reform – including a path to legal status for all illegal aliens now in the United States". The coalition, reflecting Murdoch and Bloomberg's own views, also advocates significant increases in legal immigration to the United States as a means of boosting America's sluggish economy and lowering unemployment. The Partnership's immigration policy prescriptions are notably similar to those of the Cato Institute and the US Chamber of Commerce — both of which Murdoch has supported in the past.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page has similarly advocated for increased legal immigration, in contrast to the staunch anti-immigration stance of Murdoch's British newspaper, The Sun. On 5 September 2010, Murdoch testified before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law Membership on the "Role of Immigration in Strengthening America's Economy". In his testimony, Murdoch called for ending mass deportations and endorsed a "comprehensive immigration reform" plan that would include a pathway to citizenship for all illegal immigrants.

In the 2012 U.S. presidential election, Murdoch was critical of the competence of Mitt Romney's team but was nonetheless strongly supportive of a Republican victory, tweeting: "Of course I want him [Romney] to win, save us from socialism, etc."

In October 2015, Murdoch stirred controversy when he praised Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and referenced President Barack Obama, tweeting, "Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else." After which he apologized, tweeting, "Apologies! No offence meant. Personally find both men charming."

During Donald Trump's term as US President Murdoch showned support for him through the news stories broadcast in his media empire, including on Fox News. In early 2018, Mohammad bin Salman, the crown prince and de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, had an intimate dinner at Murdoch's Bel Air estate in Los Angeles.

Activities in Europe

Murdoch owns a controlling interest in Sky Italia, a satellite television provider in Italy. Murdoch's business interests in Italy have been a source of contention since they began. In 2010 Murdoch won a media dispute with then Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. A judge ruled the then Prime Minister's media arm Mediaset prevented News Corporation's Italian unit, Sky Italia, from buying advertisements on its television networks.

Activities in Asia

In November 1986, News Corporation purchased a 35% stake in the South China Morning Post group for about US$105 million. At that time, SCMP group was a stock-listed company, and was owned by HSBC, Hutchison Whampoa and Dow Jones & Company. In December 1986, Dow Jones & Company offered News Corporation to sell about 19% of share it owned of SCMP for US$57.2 million, and, by 1987, News Corporation completed the full takeover. In September 1993, News Corporation have agreed to sell a 34.9% share in SCMP to Robert Kuok's Kerry Media for US$349 million. In 1994, News Corporation sold the remaining 15.1% share in SCMP to MUI Group, disposing the Hong Kong newspaper.

In June 1993, News Corporation attempted to acquire a 22% share in TVB, a terrestrial television broadcaster in Hong Kong, for about $237 million, but Murdoch's company gave up, as the Hong Kong government would not relax the regulation regarding foreign ownership of broadcasting companies.

In 1993, News Corporation acquired Star TV (renamed as Star in 2001), a Hong Kong company headed by Richard Li, from Hutchison Whampoa for $1 billion (Souchou, 2000:28), and subsequently set up offices for it throughout Asia. The deal enabled News International to broadcast from Hong Kong to India, China, Japan and over thirty other countries in Asia, becoming one of the biggest satellite television networks in the east. 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.

In 2009, News Corporation reorganised Star; a few of these arrangements were that the original company's operations in East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East were integrated into Fox International Channels, and Star India was spun-off (but still within News Corporation).