Rupert Murdoch: Creator of a Worldwide Media Empire
By Jerome Tuccille
2003/12 - Beard Books
1587982242 - Paperback - Reprint - 304 pp.
An important and informative book on mass media and its principal mogul.
This is a multi-faceted biography of the most innovative figure of the information age, Rupert Murdoch, who had established the most far-reaching communications empire in existence when this book was first published in 1989. Through interviews with numerous sources both inside and outside the Murdoch organization, including a rare interview with Murdoch himself, Jerome Tuccille reveals little-known facts about the man behind the public figure. What emerges from Rupert Murdoch is a complete and balanced picture of the man and his achievements - at once a fascinating three-dimensional portrait of the individual and a detailed account of his amazing financial triumphs.
From the back cover blurb:
... He explores the many aspects of Murdoch's power base, including tax and accounting techniques that allowed him to borrow more than his rivals without diluting the value of his holdings; his deep-seated affinity for taking major risks; his expansion into the U.S.; his confrontation with Senator Edward Kennedy over legislation prohibiting TV station and newspaper ownership in the same market; his role as philanthropist, family man, and quietly conservative political voice.
From Turnarounds and Workouts:
With his recent purchase of the Dow Jones Company, parent
company of the Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch added another piece
to his global communications empire and again showed why he is the
preeminent media mogul in the world.
From Henry Berry, Turnarounds and Workouts, September 15, 2004:
Rupert Murdoch is compared to the movie character Citizen Kane, who was modeled on the press baron William Randolph Hearst. But Murdoch surpasses even this legendary figure in the breadth and value of the media empire he has created. In 1989, Murdoch's empire, comprising not only newspapers in the U. S., England, and Australia, but also book publishers, magazines, and network and cable TV stations, was valued at about $12 billion. In this same year, Hearst's holdings adjusted for inflation would have been valued at $660 million, a fraction of Murdoch's. An airline, hotel reservation service, and a sheep farm in his native Australia are also a part of the Murdoch empire. Yet for all of Murdoch's outsized success, influence, and path-breaking ventures, he has not attained the legendary mystique of Hearst. Whereas Hearst was active in the relatively simple America of the late 19th and early twentieth centuries where his larger-than-life personality stood out in the media field, Murdoch is active in a global marketplace where many powerful and newsworthy individuals are covered daily in diverse media outlets. Murdoch has achieved more power in the media field than his predecessors Hearst or Pulitzer, but does not stand out as much as they did because his empire, with its reach more extensive and possessions more diverse, is more diffuse. Besides, as Murdoch notes, Hearst was "a spoiled boy, self-indulgent. I'm more Presbyterian, Calvinistic, more Scottish."
Murdoch is a fascinating character in his own right: a native of Australia who worked his way to become the most powerful individual in a media that plays a central role in all of modern society. In recent years he has taken on the powerful Senator Ted Kennedy for his sponsorship of legislation that would limit Murdoch's, and others', media holdings in certain major markets. And Murdoch's career can be profitably studied for lessons on business vision and strategy, corporate decision-making, effective entry into new national markets, and interconnected operations in the global economy. As the author Tuccille recognizes, Murdoch's interests and activities reflect important changes in the media field in the last decades of the 1900s, when the media came to dominate all areas of American life and play a highly-visible role in international politics, events, economics, and finance. "The story of Rupert Murdoch is more than the saga of a single individual. He stands at the center of a communications revolution that is reshaping the way we receive our information.
Tuccille divides Murdoch's unique story, which also mirrors the growth of the modern media, into three main parts: Press Baron, Star Wars, and Media Lord. The part "Star Wars" covers the period from the watershed year of 1983 marking the "end of Murdoch as mere newspaper magnate in the Hearst...tradition" to the year 1987, when he had "established himself as the single most powerful media lord on earth." Murdoch gained this position in the short span of four years by investing heavily in the electronic revolution and various businesses that were a part of it or which could be modified to become a part of it. It was during these years that Murdoch purchased the Chicago Sun-Times, Warner Communications, the New York Post, and the London Sun, among other newspapers, as well as satellite TV stations. By competing fiercely to acquire long-standing, wide-recognized, and influential newspapers in major urban markets outside of his native Australia, Murdoch was revealing his extraordinary ambitions and his vision in the fast-evolving field of modern media. But to reach this pinnacle, he had put his News Corporation Ltd. deeply in debt - over $4 billion. The story of how Murdoch overcame this considerable handicap is a part of Tuccille's last section, "Media Lord".
A popular biography about a colorful visionary businessman who has undoubtedly left his mark on the media field and the phenomenon of globalization, Tuccille's "Rupert Murdoch" is also a picture of the growth of this field over the past few decades.
Jerome Tuccille is vice president of T. Rowe Price Investment Services who as an author, has published biographies, novels, and financial books.
In his biography of media baron Murdoch, Tuccille (vice president, T. Rowe Price Investment Services) concentrates on Murdoch's business activities, chronicling how he built a newspaper and broadcast empire and a vast fortune for himself. The biography covers his entire life, but concentrates on the later years before the first 1989 edition of the text, here reprinted in paperbound format. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
Jerome Tuccille is Vice President of T. Rowe Price Investment Services, and he has worked in the investment area as a broker and supervisory analyst since 1975. He is the author of more than 20 books including a recent biography of Alan Greenspan. His works include four novels and many financial books. From 1971 to 1973, the author taught at the New School for Social Research in New York City, and in 1974 he was the Libertarian candidate for Governor of New York. Tuccille and his wife Marie have two children and one grandson. They reside in Maryland. Photo from the back cover.
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