These 15 Billionaires Own America’s News Media Companies

News that billionaire Peter Thiel is funding Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against news site Gawker ignited the media and tech world last week, sparking a conversation about the role of the ultra-rich in controlling the world. information. While a billionaire secretly funding a lawsuit to bring down a media outlet may be a new way to use money to influence the media industry, billionaires have long wielded influence in the news simply by owning media outlets. Americans.

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 influential American national newspapers, including the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the

New York Times
in addition to magazines, local newspapers and online publications.

Several other billionaires, including

Comcast
CEO Brian Roberts and

Freedom Media
President John Malone owns or controls cable television networks that are powerful but not primarily news-oriented.

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 media industry’s richest billionaire, returned to his eponymous media company in September 2014, eight months after stepping down as mayor of New York. A notable sign of his influence on the publication: Michael Bloomberg does not appear on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index. FORBES pegs his net worth at $45.7 billion. Bloomberg co-founded his financial data company in 1981 with Charles Zegar and Thomas Secunda, who are now both billionaires thanks to their minority stakes in Bloomberg LP. The company has grown in business news coverage and has more than 2,000 journalists worldwide. In 2009, Bloomberg LP purchased Business Week magazine from McGraw Hill for $5 million plus debt assumption.

Rupert Murdoch –

press company

Rupert Murdoch, former CEO of 21st Century

Fox
, the parent company of the powerful Fox News cable television network, may well be the most powerful media mogul in the world. He is co-executive 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. In total, his family controls 120 newspapers in five countries. Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal also owns 1% of News Corp, after cutting his stake from 6% in early 2015.

Donald and Samuel “Si” Newhouse –

Advance releases

Donald Newhouse and his brother Samuel “Si” Newhouse inherited from their father Advance Publications, a private media company that controls a plethora of newspapers, magazines, cable television and entertainment assets. Advance has newspapers in 25 cities and towns across America and is the nation’s largest privately owned newspaper chain. Conde Nast, a unit of Advance Publications, publishes magazines such as Wired, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker and Vogue. Si resigned as chairman of Conde Nast in 2015.

Cox Family – Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Cox Enterprises
, owned by the billionaire Cox family, counts The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a number of other daily newspapers among its many media investments. James Cox, the company’s founder and grandfather of current President Jim Kennedy, purchased his first newspaper, the Dayton Ohio Evening News, in 1898. The Cox Media Group division today owns the Journal-Constitution and six other daily newspapers, more than a dozen non-dailies, 14 broadcast television stations, a local cable channel and 59 radio stations.

Jeff Bezos – The Washington Post

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post for $250 million in 2013. Since the start of his run for president, Trump has accused Bezos of using the Post to secure tax breaks for Amazon and d send reporters after Trump. Bezos denied the allegations during a technical conference at The Washington Post in May. Post reporters also defended themselves, saying the paper covered Amazon’s tax issues and that the Post’s editorial board stance on taxing online retailers hadn’t changed since Bezos bought the paper. .

John Henry – The Boston Globe

Billionaire Red Sox owner John Henry bought the Boston Globe in October 2013 for $70 million. Henry agreed to buy the Globe just days after Bezos acquired The Washington Post. The Globe had previously been owned by The New York Times for twenty years. At the time of his purchase, Henry said he had no intention of influencing the newspaper’s sports coverage.

Sheldon Adelson – The Las Vegas Exam Log

In December 2014, Las Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson secretly bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The newspaper’s own reporting exposed the billionaire buyer, who allegedly made the $140 million deal through his son-in-law. Since then, there have been reports of Adelson influencing coverage of himself in a newspaper which in the past has often criticized the billionaire.

Joe Mansueto – Magazines Inc. and Fast Company

the morning star
CEO Joe Mansueto made his $2.3 billion fortune in the investment and research firm he founded in 1984. A month after taking Morningstar public in 2005, Mansueto bought Inc. and G&J USA’s Fast Company magazine. In a statement at the time, he wrote: “I wasn’t looking to buy a magazine. Or two, for that matter… I bought them because I’m passionate about their missions. Their past, present and future contributions.”

Mortimer Zuckerman – US News & World Report, New York Daily News

Real estate billionaire Mortimer Zuckerman owns both US News & World Report and the New York Daily News. Zuckerman is president and editor of US News & World Report, which he purchased in 1984. In the years since, US News & World Report has made a name for itself with its lucrative rankings, including Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools and Top Hospitals Lists. Zuckerman bought the Daily News out of bankruptcy in 1993 and tried unsuccessfully to sell the tabloid for six months in 2015.

Barbey Family – Village Voice

In October 2015, investor Peter Barbey bought the Village Voice, a New York alternative weekly, through his investment firm Black Walnut Holdings LLC for an undisclosed price. Barbey is a member of the billionaire Barbey family, which made its fortune in textiles and manufacturing. In 1989, John Barbey established the Reading Globe and Mitten Manufacturing Company in Pennsylvania. His son JE Barbey took the business, then known as Vanity Fair Silk Mills, public in 1951 and the family still owns nearly 20% of the business. The family has also owned a local Pennsylvania newspaper, The Reading Eagle, for generations.

Stanley Hubbard – Hubbard Broadcasting

Media mogul Stanley Hubbard is CEO of Hubbard Broadcasting, which has 13 television stations, including a number of ABC and NBC news affiliates in the Midwest, and 48 radio stations. In August, Hubbard bought a stake in PodcastOne, a one-stop-shop app for podcasts, through Hubbard Broadcasting. The media runs in the Hubbard family; his father started Minnesota’s first commercial television station in 1923.

Patrick Soon-Shiong – Tribune Publishing Co.

On May 23, Tribune Publishing Co. reported that Los Angeles physician and pharmaceutical billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, Nant Capital, was investing $70.5 million in the media company, making Soon-Shiong the second largest shareholder. He is now vice president of the media company, which owns newspapers like the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. In an interview with CNBC, Soon-Shiong described his investment as a “opportunity to really transform this world of newspapers into this new generation. “In 2014, Tribune Publishing Co. was formed from

Grandstand Company
which changed its name to Tribune Media Co. T
ribune Co. was previously owned by billionaire real estate investor Sam Zell, who took control of Tribune Co. in 2007. Less than a year later, the company went bankrupt. Four years later, Tribune Co. emerged from bankruptcy after being acquired by Oaktree Capital Management, Angelo, Gordon & Co and

JPMorgan Chase
.

Carlos Slim Helu – The New York Times

The New York Times published an article last Friday criticizing the power billionaires wield over media companies. An ultra-wealthy media investor not mentioned in the story: Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu, who holds the largest individual stake in The Times. Slim more than doubled his stake in The New York Times in June 2015 to around 17% of the media company.

Warren Buffett – regional dailies

Warren Buffett, as CEO of

Berkshire Hathaway
, has invested in a number of small newspapers and now owns about 70 dailies. In 2012, Berkshire Hathaway acquired 63 daily and weekly newspapers in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama from Media General for $142 million.

Viktor Vekselberg – Gawker

Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg’s investment arm, Columbus Nova Technology Partners, bought a minority stake in Gawker in January 2016 for an undisclosed amount. The online media company has taken on outside funding for the first time in anticipation of legal costs incurred in a lawsuit filed by wrestler Hulk Hogan, according to a leaked memo from Gawker founder Nick Denton. Hogan sued Gawker after posting a sex tape. In March, a jury awarded Hogan $140 million in damages. Gawker aims to appeal the decision.

Gallery: 15 billionaire owners of America’s news media companies

15 pictures

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