Rupert Murdoch: Ultimate Media Mogul?

"He's a real political operative. He really is concerned about getting his point of view out there, across the globe," Tuccille said. "He likes to put his own political stamp on his properties. He turned the New York Post from what some people would say was a left-wing rag into a right-wing rag."

His Goal: Everything?

It's that level of editorial direction that worried many late last year as Murdoch moved to buy out Dow Jones.

He's even a frequent target on the popular animated television series "The Simpsons," which airs on his own Fox network.

Probably the sharpest jab came in May 2004, in an episode where the town's eccentric billionaire Mr. Burns decided to buy every media outlet in town to improve his image.

At one point, Burns says, "Well, I guess it's impossible for one man to control all the media. Unless, of course, you're Rupert Murdoch. He is one beautiful man."

Roush said that media companies only have as much influence as we let them have.

Murdoch, he said, has a lot of sway with a certain influential crowd.

"What Murdoch is successful in doing is tapping into the large population — conservatives — that didn't previously have media properties that catered to them. That's what he's figured out," Roush said. "If you own media companies with a certain slant or certain political bent, then you can have more pull or weight with the average person if that average person agrees with that political slant."

In one way or another, most people interact with News Corp. on a weekly — if not daily — basis.

Going to a movie? It might have been produced or distributed by Fox Filmed Entertainment, which includes 20th Century Fox. Reading a book? Publisher HarperCollins is part of Murdoch's empire.

But the reach doesn't end there.

Millions of Americans who tune in each night to see shows like "24," "House" and, of course, "American Idol" are seeing them on Murdoch's Fox network, which has more than 200 affiliate stations across the country.

Fox has deals with Major League Baseball and the National Football League, essentially guaranteeing that any sports fan will, at some point, have to tune into Murdoch's media empire.

Far-Flung Holdings

There is also the Fox News cable channel — often criticized for taking a right-wing approach to news — and Murdoch's latest TV venture, the Fox Business Channel, which is trying to get a bite of a market dominated by CNBC. News Corp. also owns the FX and National Geographic cable channels.

Murdoch owns major newspapers, including the New York Post and The Times of London, as well as more than 110 newspapers in Australia.

Those looking to interact with friends on the Internet might turn to MySpace, another part of the News Corp. family.

News Corp.'s purchase of Dow Jones sparked a lot of debate about how much power Murdoch has and his personal influence over the editorial content of those publications.

Over the years, Murdoch has also owned parts of the Los Angeles Dodgers, DirecTV, TV Guide and the Chicago Sun-Times.

Murdoch hasn't said anything publicly about succession plans, though it is believed that his sons are in line to take over the company, which has annual sales of more than $24 billion.

So, what's next for the man whose family owns 40 percent of News Corp. and reaches millions of people around the world each day? Nobody knows, but keep watching the headlines for his next move.

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