- Worth a combined $US192 billion, media’s richest players are behind massive publications such as Bloomberg and Reuters, and entertainment brands like Marvel and Fortnite.
- Business Insider has compiled a list of the 20 richest people in media, based on their industry classification in the Forbes’ Real-Time Billionaires list and net worths from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
- The list includes Tim Sweeney, Michael Bloomberg, and Charlie Ergen, who have made their fortunes in video games, news media, and TV.
- Five billionaires on this list inherited a portion of Cox Enterprises, a $US21 billion telecommunications company.
- The richest person on the list is Michael Bloomberg, the mogul who founded the Bloomberg business publication, served three terms as mayor of New York, and ran for president in 2020.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
All net worths below are sourced from Bloomberg unless otherwise noted.
20. Mark Cuban: $US4.2 billion, per Forbes
Mark Cuban has made his fortune through business deals in tech, sports, and Shark Tank investments, Business Insider previously reported.
Cuban co-founded a video portal, Broadcast.com in 1995. Four years later, he sold the company to Yahoo for $US5.7 billion.
Today, Cuban owns the Dallas Mavericks. He purchased the NBA team for $US285 million in 2000. Cuban has donated millions to charities related to healthcare, disaster relief, and domestic violence.
After a Sports Illustrated report said the Mavericks franchise was a hostile work environment for women, Cuban donated $US10 million to domestic violence awareness in 2018 as part of the NBA’s investigation into workplace conditions.
In 2017, he lent a private jet to two of his players bring supplies to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
In 2020, Cuban and athletes Luka Dončić and Dwight Powell partnered up to donate $US500,000 to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre and Parkland Hospital.
19. Martha Ingram: $US4.4 billion, per Forbes
Martha Ingram inherited her wealth.
Her family owns Ingram Industries, a firm with subsidiaries in bookmaking and distributing. Ingram’s husband Bronson founded the company in 1978, and Ingram began running the business when he died in 1995.
She stepped down from her role as chairman in 2008, and her sons replaced her.
18. Friede Springer: $US4.8 billion, per Forbes
Friede Springer‘s main source of wealth is inherited.
When her husband, Axel, died in 1985, Springer acquired Axel Springer, a major publishing company he founded in 1946.
Axel Springer bought Business Insider in 2015.
17. Charles Dolan: $US4.84 billion
Charles Dolan made his fortune by starting, building, and then ultimately, selling his cable company. He founded Cablevision Systems, a cable operator, in 1973, and sold it to Altice, a telecommunications company, for $US17.7 billion in 2016.
Today, Dolan and his family own significant stakes in AMC Networks and Madison Square Garden’s entertainment and sports companies. He served as chairman of AMC before stepping down in September 2020.
16. Isaac Perlmutter: $US4.65 billion
The majority of Isaac Perlmutter’s billion-dollar net worth comes from Marvel. He has served as chairman of the studio since 1998.
Perlmutter moved to Brooklyn, New York, from Israel in 1967. He is credited with transforming Marvel from a bankrupt comic company to a successful media business, complete with films, video games, and action figures, Business Insider previously reported. To achieve this, Perlmutter oversaw Marvel’s shift in focus to character licensing, or ownership over the characters that allowed the company to make movies, shows, games, and toys about them.
Perlmutter donated about $US60 million to NYU Langone Medical Centre’s cancer research between 2014 and 2015.
15. Clive Calder: $US5.08 billion
Clive Calder co-founded the record company Zomba Music Group in 1975. He joined the three comma net worth club when he sold it for $US2.7 billion in 2002. The company included Jive Records, a label that has signed big names like Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and NSync.
Calder lives in the Cayman Islands with his wife.
T14. Margaretta Taylor: $US5.68 billion
Margaretta Taylor’s wealth comes from her inheritance of about 17% of Cox Enterprises, her family’s media and automotive company that provides cable, internet, telecommunications, advertising, and vehicle auction and services. She inherited the stakes from her mother, Anne Cox Chambers, who died in January 2020. Taylor’s grandfather, James Cox, founded the company in 1968.
T14. Katharine Rayner: $US5.68 billion
Taylor’s sister Katherine Rayner also inherited 17% of Cox Enterprises, which made about $US21.2 billion in 2019.
T14. James Cox Chambers: $US5.68 billion
11. David Thomson: $US6.43 billion
David Thomson inherited his wealth from his grandfather’s media company, now known as Thomson Reuters.
Thomson serves as co-chairman of the Canada-based business that covers international news. His family owns 320 million shares of the business that his grandfather started in the 1930s, per the company’s website.
10. Rupert Murdoch: $US6.88 billion
Rupert Murdoch made his fortune by founding, buying, and selling newspapers and media company stakes, Business Insider previously reported.
Today, Murdoch serves as chairman of Fox Corp. and News Corp., the publisher that owns The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, and The Sun.
Murdoch is from Australia, where he inherited a newspaper publication from his father at 22. He founded The Australian, the country’s first nationwide paper, in 1964. About 20 years later, he purchased the New York Post and New York Magazine. Also in the 1980s, Murdoch bought more than half of the stocks in 20th Century Fox.
9. George Lucas: $US7.13 billion
George Lucas founded Lucasfilm, the company behind the mega-successful Star Wars and Indiana Jones movie franchises, in 1971. The franchises have made a combined $US12 billion in global ticket sales since 1977.
Lucas sold Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012 for $US4.1 billion. He and his wife Mellody Hobson funded the creation of The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which is currently under construction in Los Angeles and will showcase a variety of artworks and other archival materials, including rare items from the Separate Cinema Archive, a collection of artifacts from Black films between 1904 and 2019.
8. John Malone: $US7.49 billion
John Malone became CEO of a nearly-bankrupt cable company, Tele-Communications, Inc., in 1973, and turned it into the biggest cable company of its time by 1990, Business Insider previously reported.
Today, Malone serves as chairman of Liberty Global, a TV and internet company that made $US11.4 billion in 2019. Malone also has stakes in Discovery Communications and Formula One.
Malone owns more than a million acres of woodlands in Maine and New Hampshire. He’s the largest private landowner in the US.
T7. Blair Parry-Okeden: $US8.6 billion
Blair Parry-Okeden’s wealth comes from her grandfather’s company. Cousin to Taylor, Rayner, and Chambers, Parry-Okeden inherited 25% of Cox Enterprises when her mother died in 2007. Their grandfather, James Cox, founded the company in 1898.
T7. Jim Kennedy: $US8.6 billion
5. Tim Sweeney: $US9.4 billion
Sweeney has donated millions to preserve North Carolina lands,Business Insider previously reported. In 2017, he bought 193 acres of Alamance County for $US1.97 million to preserve it.
4. David Geffen: $US10 billion
David Geffen made his fortune founding media companies. In 1980, he started a record label, Geffen Records, which he sold for $US550 million in 1990. Four years later, he co-founded the movie studio DreamWorks SKG alongside Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg.
Geffen has a $US590 million superyacht, Rising Sun, where he hosts notable figures like Jeff Bezos, Tom Hanks, and the Obamas, Business Insider previously reported. Back in March when the coronavirus began to spread across the US, he received backlash for an Instagram post about self-isolating on his yacht, per The Guardian. Geffen deleted his Instagram shortly after.
3. Charlie Ergen: $US10.2 billion
Charlie Ergen co-founded Dish Network, a satellite TV provider, in 1996. Today, he serves as chairman of the company. In 2008, Ergen split the provider’s satellite communications into a separate sister company called Echostar, where he also serves as chairman. The spin-off split Dish Network’s shares into two publically shared companies. Dish Network made $US12.8 billion in 2019.
2. Donald Newhouse: $US16.3 billion
1. Michael Bloomberg: $US54.9 billion, per Forbes
Michael Bloomberg co-founded the media company, Bloomberg LP, in 1981. Today, he owns 88% of the business.
Bloomberg served as mayor of New York City for three terms beginning in 2002, Business Insider previously reported. He ran for president in 2020 but dropped out in March.
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