Following the wild success of Kevin Rudd’s petition calling for a Royal Commission into News Corp, we’re all well aware that Rupert Murdoch owns, or has a stake in, a literal fuck tonne of the media we consume on a daily basis. But unless you really spell it out, it’s easy to not realise *just* how much he owns, and how much of an influence he has on democracy as we know it.
Before we get started, it’s important to note that this here publication is wholly owned by Nine Entertainment Co. In the interest of full disclosure, Nine is inarguably News Corp’s biggest competitor in the Australian media landscape. However, you can view the stark difference in media interests between the two on the Australia Communications and Media Authority website here.
So, let’s just take a look at exactly how much Big Uncle Rupert (and his kids) has a stake in, and just how hard it would be to boycott his monopoly on media both here in Australia, and overseas.
Who’s In Charge?
Before we get too deep into everything the Murdochs have a stake in, let’s just meet the Murdochs.
Kevin Rupert Murdoch (yes, his name is actually Kevin):
- Executive Chairman, News Corp (US)
Lachlan K. Murdoch (Rupert’s son):
- Co-Chairman, News Corp (US)
- Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Fox Corporation – handed down to Lachlan and James Murdoch from Rupert in 2018 (James has since denounced the family and resigned from his position).
- Executive Chairman, NOVA Entertainment Group
News Corp US is a publicly-traded company, so when we’re talking about actual ownership, the Murdochs only own approximately 14%. However, they hold 39% of the voting power, so despite their seemingly small portion of actual ownership, they have a staggering amount of power.
The Murdochs And Elections:
Kevin Rudd called the Murdoch media monopoly a “cancer eating at the heart of Australian democracy,” which begs the question: how much do the Murdochs really influence elections?
Obviously, it’s hard to quantify a media organisation’s impact on elections and/or democracy as we know it. But it’s near impossible to deny the power that Murdoch holds.
Fox News basically fuelled Trump’s rise to power, and continued to be a strong supporter of him until he lost last week’s election.
Meanwhile, in the UK, Murdoch had to face a British inquiry into media ethics over concern that he had misused his power to influence politics. However, he claimed he “never asked a leader for anything.”
And back home in Australia, News Corp has been slammed for their “unbalanced” reporting of the recent Victorian lockdown (*cough* Dictator Dan *cough*)
So, with that being said, let’s take a gander at every pie that the Murdoch family, and the mass media conglomerates they operate, have a finger in, shall we?
Hey! It’s us! At this point, you probably already know that Rupert Murdoch essentially has a monopoly on Australian media. Kevin Rudd launched a petition about it, Malcolm Turnbull went on Q&A to roast The Australian’s editor-at-large Paul Kelly (no, not *that* one) over it, and now Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young is pushing for the government to do something about it.
When it comes to TV, the Murdochs don’t own heaps in Australia. However, they *do* own Sky News (aka the Australian equivalent of Fox News) and they have a 65% stake in Foxtel and its subsidiaries.
Foxtel (65% ownership) – including Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and Binge.
Australian News Channel (100% ownership) – including Sky News (aka Alan Jones, Peta Credlin, etc)
Rupert Murdoch is a shareholder in some radio stations, including KIIS 106.5 – as per the ACMA records. However, his son Lachlan Murdoch (aka not the one who denounced the family) owns Nova Entertainment.
Nova Entertainment (owned by Lachlan Murdoch): including Nova and Smooth FM radio stations.
You might want to sit down for this, because if you’ve read a newspaper recently, there’s a pretty high chance that Murdoch owns it.
It’s hardly surprising that News Corp has been accused of having a big impact on our elections when you take a look at just how much of our national, state and regional newspapers they own. Truly, truly terrifying stuff.
All print media is owned by News Corp Australia, a subsidiary of News Corp.
National & State Newspapers:
The Daily Telegraph
The Sunday Telegraph
Herald Sun Sunday
The Courier Mail
The Sunday Mail
I’ve gone ahead and just categorised this by state because holy shit, there are a *lot* of News Corp-owned regional and local papers. If you live in a regional town, Murdoch probably owns your local paper.
QLD: Gold Coast Bulletin, Whitehorse Leader, Townsville Bulletin, Cairns Post, Whitsunday Times, Whitsunday Coast Guardian, Gatton, Lockyer, Brisbane Valley Star, The Observer, Fraser Coast Chronicle, Sunshine Coast Daily, Noosa News, Sun Community Newspapers, Brisbane News, Albert & Logan News, Caboolture Herald, Pine Rivers Press, Redcliffe & Bayside Herald, South-West News, Westside News, Wynnum Herald, Cairns Eye, Gold Coast Eye, News Mail, Southern Burnett Times, Stanthorpe Border Post, CQ News, The Chronicle, The Gympie Times, The Morning Bulletin, Townsville Eye, Warwick Daily News, Chinchilla News, The Bundy Guardian, The Western Star, Bowen Independent, Central & North Burnett Times, Quest Community News
NSW: Byron Shire News, The Coffs Coast Advocate, The Daily Examiner, Mackay Daily Mercury, Manly Daily, Tweed Daily News, Ballina Shire Advocate, The Northern Star, St George Shire Standard, Western Times, Blacktown Advocate, Canterbury Bankstown Express, Central Coast Express Advocate, Fairfield Advance, Hills Shire Times, Hornsby Advocate, Inner West Courier, Liverpool Leader, MacArthur Chronicle, Mosman Daily, North Shore Times, Parramatta Advertiser, Penrith Press, Southern Courier, Wentworth Courier, District Northern Times
VIC: The Weekly Times, Geelong Advertiser, Leader Community News, Bayside Leader, Caulfield Glen Eira Leader, Cranbourne Leader, Frankston Standard Leader, Greater Dandenong Leader, Knox Leader, Lilydale & Yarra Valley Leader, Maribyrnong Leader, Maroondah Leader, Monash Leader, Moonee Valley Leader, Moorabbin Leader, Mordialloc Chelsea Leader, Moreland Leader, Mornington Peninsula Leader, Stonnington Leader, Whittlesea Leader, Laidley Plainland Leader
NT: Centralian Advocate
SA: Daily Herald
Need a break from the doom and gloom of Rupert Murdoch owning pretty much every news source available to you? Well, let’s take a quick squiz at magazines.
Despite being a dying medium (*cries*), News Corp still owns a lot of the big players in the magazine game, including Australian Vogue and the Wall St Journal.
The Weekend Australian Magazine
Vogue: including Vogue Living
News Corp Australia Motoring
Queensland Business Monthly
Daily Telegraph Home
Wall St Journal
Obviously, we live in 2020 and most print or television outlets also have a huge online presence, but Murdoch also owns a number of online-only outlets.
Perhaps most notably, he owns news.com.au, but he also owns a number of other brands including various betting sites and even realestate.com.au. It’s 2020 and you can’t even look for a bloody sharehouse without supporting Murdoch.
SuperCoach Fantasy Football
Brisbane Broncos (68.87% ownership)
This bit is probably pretty boring for most people, but in the interest of full disclosure, I’m just going to include it anyway. Here’s all of the other brands Murdoch owns, such as content and social media marketing agencies.
Medium Rare Content Agency
One Big Switch
If you’ve seen that now-viral TikTok about just how much Rupert Murdoch influences elections across the globe, you’re probably well aware that he’s just as influential overseas as he is here in Australia.
@beetle.drinkhe’s a real life supervillain #fyp #foryou♬ original sound – ????dori????
It’s no secret that Murdoch is a huge player in the American media industry, with his name often popping up in Trump-related news.
His biggest influence in the US is undoubtedly Fox News, but he *also* owns the Dow Jones, the New York Post and even Harper Collins Books.
Dow Jones & Company (a subsidiary of News Corporation, of which Rupert Murdoch is Executive Chairman): The Wall St Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch, Financial News, Heat St, Mansion Global, Dow Jones Newswires, Factiva, Dow Jones Indexes, Dow Jones Financial Information Services.
Fox Corporation (owned by the Murdoch Family Trust – Lachlan Murdoch is the CEO, Rupert Murdoch is a Chairman): Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Television Stations, Fox News Media, Fox Sports Media Group.
Harper Collins Books (a subsidiary of News Corporation, of which Rupert Murdoch is Executive Chairman)
New York Post (a subsidiary of News Corporation, of which Rupert Murdoch is Executive Chairman)
Aaaaand of course, we’ve got the UK, where old mate Rupert doesn’t own a lot of individual players, but *does* own three of the biggest publications.
All three of the UK publications are owned by the News UK masthead, which is (again) a subsidiary of News Corporation.
The Sunday Times
So…. Do y’all mind if I scream a little bit?