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The Man Who Owns the News: Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch

3.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  222 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
If Rupert Murdoch isn’t making headlines, he’s busy buying the media outlets that generate the headlines. His News Corp. holdings—from the New York Post, Fox News, and most recently The Wall Street Journal, to name just a few—are vast, and his power is unrivaled. So what makes a man like this tick? Michael Wolff gives us the definitive answer in The Man Who Owns the News.

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ebook, 256 pages
Published December 2nd 2008 by Broadway Books (first published 2008)
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Bruno Bouchet
Apr 28, 2009 Bruno Bouchet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to rate this book because it's a compelling read yet the writing style is utterly infuriating. The book follows Murdoch's purchase of the Wall Street Journal and uses that as a structure to dip into the past to important moments in his life. The trouble is the author writes in the present tense, even in the past and then refers to things that will happen in the future tense but which are still in the past within the book's narrative, it gets torturous. And then every now and again, he ...more
Josh Maher
This one was ok, good to learn a little more about Rupert Murdoch as a person... but it didn't really get very inside his world. If you're researching media companies though it's good to have some perspective and background and this book definitely adds to that.

One of the statements in the book is about Rupert not thinking of businesses as just a balance sheet. He thought of them as a balance sheet + their ability to give him influence. This drove decisions that were unprofitable and decisions
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Andy
Feb 01, 2009 Andy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the topic of Murdoch interested me, this book is disorganized and poorly written & edited... just like... oh a Murdoch Tabloid story; which may indeed be the author's point.
Jonny99
Oct 08, 2010 Jonny99 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too much bio not enough tell-all. Michael Wolff promises to take you into the ”Secret World of Rupert Murdoch” , a world that turns out to be far less interesting than you might expect given that Rupert is among the world’s ten or so most influential people. Certainly Rupert is part of the problem – he doesn’t say much, he works constantly and secretly running the world leaves little time for hobbies. However, most of the blame is Wolff’s. Wolff perseverates over describing Murdoch often devotin ...more
Zach
The book has some interesting insight into Murdoch, it especially paints an interesting perspective of Murdoch as at his heart a newspaperman. From this perspective, the book does present an intersting description of the transition of the newspaper from a highly local entity with reporters largely from the working class who were in an almost white collar position (many did not have college degrees in the early years) to the post-Watergate world where journalism becomes a "respected" field full o ...more
Richard MacManus
Jan 24, 2009 Richard MacManus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book and it was certainly the best bio I've read of Rupert Murdoch (there aren't too many of them and the last one I tried was a hatchet job based around some weird political conspiracy theory, which I abandoned less than halfway through). So comparatively speaking, this bio was well researched and relatively objective.

The author, Michael Wolff, nevertheless couldn't help inserting any number of his own literary theories and spins on Murdoch's story - which were in some places cu
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Caitlin
Not really much new here, despite the author interviewing Murdoch a number of times. The stuff about his family and third marriage has all been rehashed to death here in Australia, but may be newer to overseas audiences?
The style kind of grated on me - this kind of gee whiz, forced flippant tone as if that's the only way to keep the reader interested in a business story. It was hard to tell what was comming from Murdoch and what Wolff was just kind of speculating on out of thin air.
I did like h
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Cathy Allington
Apr 18, 2013 Cathy Allington rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to give this no stars. I had to give it one as a minimum. How on earth this was accepted for publication is beyond my comprehension.
The book has no seeming order. it starts on the Dow Jones buyout but jumps between Rupert's early life and his early career in no order and with no correlation with its chapter headings.
The author peppers the book with his own opinions. Seriously, if I wanted to read about what Michael Wolff thought about the media world, I would have bought a book named "
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Bookmarks Magazine

By no means has Michael Wolff given the world the definitive biography of Rupert Murdoch. Several critics, especially those in the United Kingdom, felt that he had not even written a factually adequate one, leaving out major episodes and making several major errors. Others wrote that Wolff has written an interesting book but that it never truly penetrates the "secret world" of its subtitle. But like the tabloid newspapers upon which Murdoch built his empire, The Man Who Owns the News offers so m

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Chris O'Brien
While there were moments that I found this book entertaining, I don't mind saying that Michael Wolff's writing in general drives me crazy. Though he insists he interviewed boatloads of people, including Murdoch many many times, much of the book comes down to Wolff simply imaging what may or may not have been going through people's minds. He lays out possible scenarios, then suggests others, but offers no firm thoughts on why people actually did what they did. It seemed much of this could have be ...more
Dean
Jul 20, 2015 Dean rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, biography
A good read particularly for anyone interested in media and investment banking. A biography of Murdoch organized around his takeover of the Wall Street Journal. That organizational made the narrative a little disjointed. Read more like an extended magazine article than the narrative of a book length biography. Did like Michael Wolff's insights on media and Murdoch and was a little put off on his insights on banking and business but that is nor surprise. Looking forward to reading his most recent ...more
Ian Bebbington
Would have been a far better book if it had been structured broadly chronologically with the occasional look forward to cover how things turned out As it is it jumps all overvthe place to the extent it is distracting and unnecessarily hard to follow.
Kathleen
Jan 30, 2009 Kathleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book about the man who owns most of the news media, News Corp., including Wall Street Journal, MySpace, Fox News and more. The author had unprecedented access to Rupert Murdoch and his mother and family. It attempts to make him a vulnerable character, a man who attempts to appease his father and loves newspapers to the extent of jeopardizing his family relationships. Married three times, he is an overbearing father who pushes his children to work in his business only. Parts of this b ...more
Nika Bowens
my favorite quote/story from the book is this: meeting with murdoch, his sons, and tony blair. "murdoch gives his usual, and deeply felt, defense of israel, and James, from across the dinner table, told his father that he was "fucking talking nonsense." murdoch went on, saying that he failed to understand the palestinian complaints, and james replied, "they were kicked out of their fucking homes and had nowhere to fucking live."


overall, the book felt more like a newspaper history lesson than an
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The American Conservative
'The hard writerly chore of trying to imagine a soul where none may exist has pluses and minuses. On the plus side, Wolff is a shrewd and dazzling writer who has engaged in media ownership himself. He projects his own ego and values on to his inarticulate hero, and his book contains many excellent insights into how business works, how newspapers work, and how the New York elite works.'

Read the full review, "Murdoch Exposed," on our website:
http://www.theamericanconservative.co...
Billbob Spear
Oct 02, 2010 Billbob Spear rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
A great book on the man who may be the most important person in the News World.
Few people have the vision and guts to come from very small beginnings in the business world
to conquer an industry (news) in Multiple countries and effectively covering the whole world: from the Far East, across Europe and the U.S. In both Print and TV. Just a fascinating story that is continuing today. The October Vanity Fair Magazine is covering the latest on the War with the NYTimes.
Tori Jo Lau
I only read about half of this book before the library demanded it back due to being reserved by another patron. I probably could have finished it on time but it was not managing to keep me interested. The subject material is so interesting, yet the book was very dry, and the shifting back and forth in time line didn't work for me at all. I would rather have read more about Murdoch himself and less about the former owners of Dow Jones.
Kathleen Gilroy
Jan 21, 2009 Kathleen Gilroy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another Audible book which I listened to on traveling to and from New York this weekend. I was fascinated. Wolff organizes the narrative around Murdoch's purchase of the Wall Street Journal with flashbacks to the key moments of his career that lead up to the present. They guy has guts and instincts for what is coming, and boy is he one bold dude. I hate is politics but I can't help but admiring him.
Rosie Beck
Mainly a bio focusing 60% on his business dealings and 40% on his family. He is presented as a hard driven, laser-focused workaholic with a thoroughly dysfunctional family. The writing format is choppy and jumps around too much. Does let you know you need to be the biggest shark in the tank to get to the top.

Ian Kemp
Aug 02, 2011 Ian Kemp rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Potentially interesting subject but the author's ego looms larger than that of his subjects. Wolff has so many opinions that Rupert and co barely get a word in edgeways. I quit at page 66 when he said that the Daily Mail is arguably the UKs most influential paper. Complete tosh but made me laugh out loud.
Bill
This writer misses NOTHING in his retelling of the complicated mating ritual between Murdoch and the Bancroft family, from whom he purchased the Wall Street Journal. You can tell Wolff has an ear for gossip, because it takes just that kind of personality to follow this tale...
Skip Ferderber
Jan 05, 2009 Skip Ferderber is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure what I find more disquieting: the subject of the book or the style it's written in. It's an informative story, and but the author's prejudices, and what appears to be his dislike for Murdoch, are driven home by the author with the grace of an Abrams tank.
Mikelkpoet
Apr 11, 2009 Mikelkpoet rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I put this book down, almost immediately, because I got the feeling that the author was some sort of insider in Murdoch's world, and not an objective journalist who could and would give us an honest look at Murdoch. If I want PR, I'll pick up PR.
Adam
Jul 01, 2012 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As much as I may despise the political tendencies of Rupert Murdoch, it is an undeniable fact that he is a business-savvy media mogul. I started Wolff's thus far excellent book, and Murdoch's life is as fascinating as one would imagine.
Delight
I was looking for a little more scoopage on Rupert Murdoch than this book dished. Regardless of your personal politics, Murdoch is fascinating (money doesn't seem to drive him) and his dogged pursuit of the WSJ is well chronicled here.
Louise Tobin
I went into this book wanting, and expecting to despise Murdoch. However I found myself understanding him more and while still not approving of many of his viewpoints or the fact that they are always 'advertised' in his newspapers.
Jeanette
Sep 28, 2009 Jeanette rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes to read about interesting people
Recommended to Jeanette by: The Daily Show
What am amazing portrayal of Murdoch's take over of the Dow Jones. Wolff did not waste the gift he was given to be able to interview Murdoch and his associates directly. AMAZING read!
Susie
Mar 25, 2012 Susie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not a fan of the writing style or the decision to whip back and forth between past and present but it gave an inside view into Murdochs mentality/perspective.
Lori Grant
Mar 29, 2013 Lori Grant rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A should-read biograpy on leadership for knowledge workers, managers, directors, C-levels, and entrepreneurs.
Nathan Rabin
Jul 31, 2009 Nathan Rabin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating stuff. Wolff's a hell of a writer. Starts a little slow but picks up speed.
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“He is—and this is a fundamental entrepreneurial talent—a master illusionist. It’s the essential entrepreneurial skill, to convince people you are what you have yet to become.” 0 likes
“But Murdoch is, more accurately, not a modern journalist but the last representative from an era when a newspaper was its own advertisement, when it had to sell itself.” 0 likes
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