Rupert Murdoch: The Media Mogul

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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR102
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1980 - 2004
Organization : News Corporation Limited
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Media & Advertising

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Murdoch - The Formative Years

Murdoch was born on March 11, 1931, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Murdoch's love for the newspaper business was evident from his childhood. During his school holidays he used to work in newspaper offices.

In 1950, Murdoch went to Oxford University's Worcester College, from where he graduated in economics in early 1952.

After graduation he worked as a sub-editor in the 'Daily Express.' He was inspired and influenced by Lord Northcliffe's6 success with the 'Daily Mail' and like Lord Northcliffe, he also believed that the success of a newspaper depends on the news content and coverage, editorial and advertising.

Murdoch inherited the Adelaide News and Sunday Mail from his father in late 1952. The Adelaide News was a small newspaper and Murdoch infused youthful vigor to it.

He created a sensation among readers through his headlines and content. News headlines such as, Queen Eats Rat caused a stir among readers and his dramatic touch to the news resulted in increased paper circulation.

He was good at cashing in on opportunities. For instance, when his competitor offered to buy Adelaide News, Murdoch published the opponent's offer letter with the headlines "Bid for Press Monopoly."

In 1953, Murdoch bought a newspaper News Ltd. followed by the purchase of The Sunday Times, Perth and New Ideas Magazine in Melbourne in 1954-56 and Southern Television Corporation Ltd., owned by News Ltd. in 1958-59. In 1960, he acquired the Sydney Daily Mirror.

His acquisitions were funded through heavy borrowings from banks. In 1964, he launched Australia's first national newspaper - The Australian.

According to analysts, The Australian provided him political clout though it was not successful financially.

From initial years, Murdoch wanted to expand his media business...

Excerpts >>

6] Lord Northcliffe launched the newspaper "Daily Mail" in 1896.


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