STEVE CHIOTAKIS: News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch’s car was mobbed by photographers as it arrived just moments ago at the British Parliament, where he and his son James face some tough questions today. Ranging from who knew about phone hacking at their newspaper News of the World, to whether settlements to victims were part of a cover-up. The elder Murdoch, who is Australian, built News Corp into the media empire it is today — spanning numerous continents and TV networks and newspapers.
Reporter Stuart Cohen is with us now from Sydney, Australia, with a profile of the man behind that media empire. Hi Stu.
STUART COHEN: Hey, good morning Steve.
CHIOTAKIS: So how important is today’s parliamentary testimony to the future of News Corporation?
COHEN: It could be a key day for the CEO Rupert Murdoch himself, there are reports that depending on the testimony that Murdoch may be replaced as CEO of the company that he built from scratch from his home in Australia.
CHIOTAKIS: How did Murdoch get to where he is now Stu?
COHEN: Well, he inherited a small newspaper from his father in 1953 which also gave him control of News Limited, a publishing company that had been around since before the Great Depression. But now News Limited has been become virtually synonymous Murdoch himself. He spent the next few years acquiring smaller newspapers around Australia, mostly tabloids, and even founded the country’s first national newspaper, the Australian. From Australia he expanded into the U.K. when the tabloid we’ve all learned so much about the past couple weeks: The News Of The World in 1968. Then in the 70s he expanded to the U.S.
CHIOTAKIS: And of course his empire now is quite vast, right?
COHEN: Yea, well while his newspaper operations have been catching a lot of headlines the past couple weeks, Murdoch’s company is truly a multi-media company. In fact, they’re the third largest media conglomerate after Time Warner and Disney. News Corp. in the U.S. obviously owns the Wall Street Journal and Fox News. The company also owns a satellite TV company based in Hong Kong. And back here in Australia, the original News Limited now owns a whopping 70 percent of Australia’s newspapers, and they even have a few subsidiaries operating throughout the Caribbean.
CHIOTAKIS: Quite a media empire. Stuart Cohen reporting from Sydney, Australia. Stuart, thanks.
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