Thursday, April 5, 2012

#Leveson: #Australia - The Roots Of An Empire - Rupert Murdoch's Australia

First of four parts

Ultimately, all roads lead home for Rupert Murdoch.

"The story of our company is the stuff of legend: from a small newspaper in Adelaide to a global corporation based in New York, with a market capitalization of about $44 billion," he said last October, when he addressed a News Corp. shareholders meeting in Los Angeles.
Australians view the company's history differently.

"Adelaide is irrelevant to it," says Graeme Samuel, the former chairman of the powerful Australian agency that regulates antitrust and media issues. "It was always strange that the annual meeting used to be held in Adelaide, but I never actually understood why."

I met Samuel in Murdoch's true hometown of Melbourne, a city famed for the Australian Open tennis tournament, trolley cars and street buskers playing the didgeridoo, the aboriginal instrument.

Melbourne is Australia's second-largest city, a melting pot on the country's southeastern coast. Samuel, now a corporate investment consultant with a commanding view of the city from 30 floors up, pointed out the many beneficiaries of the Murdochs' enormous philanthropy: the botanical gardens, a big children's hospital, the major theater houses and the arts center downtown.

A Father's more