Sunday, 3 Mar 2024

Rupert Murdoch net worth: How ex-Fox News chairman made his billions

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is stepping down as chairman of Fox Corporation and News Corp after amassing a net worth in the billions over nearly seven decades.

Murdoch, 92, announced on Thursday morning that his son Lachlan will take over as chair and that he will serve as chairman emeritus come mid-November.

‘For my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change,’ wrote Murdoch in a memo to employees.

‘But the time is right for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams and a passionate, principled leader in Lachlan who will become sole Chairman of both companies.’

Murdoch, through controlling a media empire including Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London and owning hundreds of other news outlets globally via News Corp, has reached a net worth of about $8.3billion, according to a Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimate.

The Murdoch family have a combined net worth of $17.5billion, according to Forbes.

Murdoch, an Australian native turned US citizen, made his billions through ruthless moves and strategic purchases.

He entered the media industry in his early 20s when he inherited a small family-owned newspaper at the time of his father’s death. Murdoch purchased more newspapers in his home country of Australia in the 1950s and then set his sights on the UK market.

Murdoch in 1968 bought his first British tabloid, News of the World, and later purchased The Sun, turning it from a struggling liberal broadsheet to one of the most popular conservative tabloids in the UK.

In 1985, Murdoch acquired 20th Century Fox and attained a net worth of about $300million, which made him one of the richest American men, per Forbes.

That same year, Murdoch launched Fox to compete with ABC, CBS and NBC, and four years later launched Sky TV in the UK. In 1996, Murdoch made Fox News Channel a 24/7 cable network to compete with CNN. Fox News is now the most watched TV news channel in America.

Murdoch acquired Dow Jones, the parent of The Wall Street Journal, for $5billion in 2007.

With a net worth of $13billion in 2013, Murdoch was ranked as the richest foreign-born individual in the US by Forbes.

At the age of 88 in 2019, Murdoch sold off all Fox Corp’s entertainment assets including 21st Century Fox for $71billion. It was the largest amount of money he gained in his career and boosted his net worth to $19billion. Murdoch’s net worth dropped to $7billion when he distributed the proceeds of the deal among his children.

Murdoch’s four kids– Lachlan, Elisabeth, James and Prudence – are equal beneficiaries of a trust owning a 42% voting stake in News Corp as well as a 39% voting stake in News Corp.

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