The 20 richest people in media, who have a collective net worth of more than $190 billion

Carlo Allegri/ReutersFormer Mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg speaks at the dedication ceremony of the Memorial Glade at the 9/11 Memorial site in the Manhattan borough of New York, New York, May 30, 2019.
  • 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

Steven Ferdman/Getty ImagesMark Cuban visits ‘Cavuto: Coast To Coast’ hosted by Neil Cavuto at Fox Business Network Studios on September 30, 2019, in New York City.

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, 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

Taylor Hill/WireImageMartha Rivers Ingram the 2010 National Arts Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on October 18, 2010 in New York City.

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

Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty ImagesFriede Springer in Berlin in 2019.

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

Newsday LLC / Contributor / Getty Images

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

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

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

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Sony MusicRecord executive Clive Calder speaks at the UJA Federation of New York’s 2009 Music Visionary Award at The Pierre Hotel on June 18, 2009 in New York City.

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

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty ImagesMargaretta Johnson Taylor attends Top Dog Humanitarian Awards Gala on November 15, 1989, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.

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.

Taylor donated $US5 million to the Bronx Zoo and had a sea lion named after her in 2010.

T14. Katharine Rayner: $US5.68 billion

Krista Kennell/Patrick McMullan via Getty ImagesBilly Rayner and Katharine Rayner attend The Morgan Library & Museum’s Evening Benefit at The Morgan Library & Museum on November 14, 2016 in New York City.

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

Cox EnterprisesJames Cox Chambers is not pictured.

Rayner and Taylor’s brother, James Cox Chambers, inherited 17% of Cox Enterprises. Chambers, his sisters, and his mum have never played an active role in the company.

11. David Thomson: $US6.43 billion

Getty/Gary Hershorn

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

Steven Ferdman/Getty ImagesRupert Murdoch attends Citymeals On Wheels’ 33rd Annual Power Lunch For Women at The Plaza Hotel on November 19, 2019 in New York City.

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

Joe Scarnici/FilmMagic/Getty ImagesGeorge Lucas attends the premiere of Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm’s ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ at the El Capitan Theatre on May 10, 2018 in Hollywood, California.

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

Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Vanity FairLiberty Media’s John Malone attends the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit at Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts on October 7, 2015 in San Francisco, California.

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

Cox EnterprisesBlair Parry-Okeden is not pictured.

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

Cox Enterprises

Parry-Okeden’s brother, Jim Kennedy, inherited 25% of the company when his mother died. Additionally, Kennedy serves as chairman of Cox Enterprises.

5. Tim Sweeney: $US9.4 billion

Rachel Luna / Getty Images

Tim Sweeney made his fortune in the video game industry. In 1991, Sweeney co-founded Epic Games, the video game developer behind Gears of War and Fortnite. The company made $US1.8 billion in 2019.

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

gotpap/Bauer-Griffin/GC ImagesDavid Geffen is seen in Los Angeles in 2017.

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

Karl Gehring/The Denver Post via Getty ImagesDish Network Corporation Chairman Charlie Ergen joked about launching a satellite with a Chinese rocket during an ‘Entrepreneurs Unplugged’ event at the University of ColoradoTuesday night, April 17, 2012.

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

Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for The Association for Frontotemporal DegenerationDonald Newhouse speaks onstage during the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration’s Hope Rising Benefit at The Pierre Hotel on October 23, 2019 in New York City.

In 1979, Donald Newhouse inherited his wealth from his father, Sam Newhouse, who founded Advance Publications in 1922. The media company publishes Vanity Fair and The New Yorker through Conde Nast.

1. Michael Bloomberg: $US54.9 billion, per Forbes

David J. Phillip/APFormer New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is pictured above during an event for his presidential campaign in February.

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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