In Their Pockets: These 15 Billionaires Own America's News Media Companies

While a billionaire secretly funding a lawsuit to take down a news outlet may be a new way of using money to influence the media business, billionaires have long exerted influence on the news simply by owning U.S. media outlets.

News that billionaire Peter Thiel is funding Hulk Hogan’s trial against news website Gawker set the media and technology worlds on fire last week, sparking a conversation about the ultra-wealthy’s role in controlling the news. While a billionaire secretly funding a lawsuit to take down a news outlet may be a new way of using money to influence the media business, billionaires have long exerted influence on the news simply by owning U.S. media outlets.

Some billionaires, like Rupert Murdoch and  Michael Bloomberg are longtime media moguls who made their fortunes in the news business. Others, like Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, bought publications as a side investment after building a substantial fortune in another industry. Billionaires own part or all of several of America’s influential national newspapers, including The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and the  New York Times , in addition to magazines, local papers and online publications.

Several other billionaires, including Comcast CEO Brian Roberts and Liberty Media Chairman John Malone, own or control cable TV networks that are powerful but not primarily news focused.

Here’s a look at some of the billionaires who own news media in the United States:

Michael Bloomberg – Bloomberg  LP and Bloomberg Media

Michael Bloomberg, the richest billionaire in the media business, returned to his eponymous media company in September 2014, eight months after stepping down as mayor of New York City. One notable sign of his influence on the publication: Michael Bloomberg doesn’t appear on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. FORBES pegs his net worth at $45.7 billion. Bloomberg cofounded his financial data company in 1981 with Charles Zegar and Thomas Secunda, both of whom are now billionaires as well thanks to their minority equity stakes in Bloomberg LP. The company expanded into business news coverage and has more than 2,000 reporters around the world. In 2009, Bloomberg LP bought Business Week magazine from McGraw Hill for a reported $5 million plus assumption of debt.

Rupert Murdoch – News Corp

Rupert Murdoch, former CEO of 21st Century Fox , the parent of powerhouse cable TV channel Fox News, may well be the world’s most powerful media tycoon. He is executive co-chairman of 21st Century Fox with his son Lachlan and is also chairman of News Corp, which owns The Wall Street Journal and other publications. Altogether, his family controls 120 newspapers across five countries. Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal also owns 1% of News Corp, after cutting down his holdings from 6% in early 2015.

Donald and Samuel “Si” Newhouse –  Advance Publications

Donald Newhouse and his brother Samuel “Si” Newhouse inherited Advance Publications, a privately-held media company that controls a plethora of [ … ]

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Zilverbacks
3 months ago

everyday we get closer to a monopoly and making the same mistakes of our past.

teg
teg
3 months ago

Steve Jobs’ wife has a big part of all of this, focus your eyes on her

American
3 months ago

Their own lawlessness will inevitably lead to lawless people…

Toni
3 months ago

Now you know who they are!

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