Murdoch: the final chapter
As the divisive media mogul celebrates his 90th birthday, Tom Ward takes a look at the Succession-style legacy wranglings dogging his twilight years
“I’m a bit optimistic. I’ve got about another 175,000 hours to go,” a then 70 year-old Rupert Murdoch opined at a media event in 2001. “Maybe I can spend 75,000 productively at work…I’ve got to see that each one of those hours is well spent.”
As the Financial Review points, out, the newspaper magnate’s figurings weren’t quite on the money. According to Murdoch’s own calculations, he should have been out of circulation for good sometime in February 2021. Instead, we’re poised on the precipice of his 90th birthday, on March 11th.
Still holding on to his role as executive chairman of News Corp and co-chairman of Fox Corporation, Murdoch is soon to become one of an elite and small club of nonagenarians still operating at the head of their games.
Few approaching 90 wield such power as the figure Ted Turner, founder of CNN, once dubbed “The most dangerous man in the world.”
With an empire including newspaper and television outlets across the globe, powerful political friends and the ability to influence the outcome of everything from Brexit to immigration policy and electoral outcomes, Turner’s estimation of Murdoch may not be far off. If not the most dangerous man in the world, he’s certainly one of the most powerful.
As possibly the most divisive media baron of all time, Murdoch’s exceptional innings won’t be good news to all. But it does beg the question: with his 75,000 work hours now expired and his working life approaching an inevitable and natural end game, what happens to the Murdoch media empire now?