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Monday, 16 July, 2001, 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK
Murdoch heads media power list
Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch is "grudgingly admired"
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch heads a 100-strong list of the most important and influential figures in the media in the UK.

The chairman and founder of News Corporation was selected at the top of the list by a panel of media analysts brought together by Media Guardian.

Richard Curtis
Richard Curtis' contribution to the British film industry is noted
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and BBC Director General Greg Dyke are at number two and three respectively in the list.

The panel said of Murdoch that he has a "unique power" over the UK media sector and was "much reviled, often feared and grudgingly admired".

Mr Murdoch's News Corporation owns a third of BSkyB, the UK's leading satellite television provider, as well News International, which produces the Sun, Times, Sunday Times and News of the World.

Click here to see the Media Guardian Top 20

The Media Guardian reports that News Corporation's turnover is 16.5bn and has a staff of 34,000.

'Cultural significance'

The 70-year-old mogul's empire stretches far beyond Britain - his company also has a large stake in 20th Century Fox and he has spent years negotiating a deal to merge his Sky Global Networks with DirecTV, a move which would make him a bigger player in the world TV market.

News Corporation also owns 23 US TV stations and cable and satellite operations in Australia, China, Europe, and Latin America.

BBC Director General Greg Dyke
BBC Director General Greg Dyke is at number three in the list
However, the panel reported that Mr Murdoch was "much less influential than he was 18 months ago".

Mr Dyke was chosen at number three because of the BBC's "continuing cultural significance".

Steve Case, chairman and chief executive of AOL Time Warner, and Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP, the world's largest advertising agency, are at number four and five in the list respectively.

Richard Curtis, the writer of Blackadder, Mr Bean and hit films such as Notting Hill, is at number 10 in the list.

He is described by the Media Guardian as "the most influential creative figure in UK media".


The Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown is at number nine and is "the most controversial selection in the top 10".

He merits his position, according to Media Guardian, because he is the "individual controlling the take-up of digital television in this country and, less directly, the further consolidation of the big media groups".

Television executives and newspaper editors fill many of the spots in the top 20.

Sun editor David Yelland and Mirror editor Piers Morgan are at numbers 14 and 19 respectively while ITV chief executive Stuart Prebble is at number 12.

Chris Tarrant, presenter of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, is the highest-placed non-executive in the list, at number 42.

Nigel Lythgoe, the former head of entertainment at LWT and the face of ITV's Popstars, is at number 50 in the list.

Sun columnist Richard Littlejohn is number 61 in the list while actor David Jason is at number 71.

Jason is described as "one of the few onscreen faces who have the power to get programmes made".

BBC journalist and presenter Jeremy Paxman is at number 82, while Harry Potter author JK Rowling is placed at number 98.

The Media Guardian Top 20

Back to top

1. Rupert Murdoch
Chairman of News Corporation

2. Bill Gates
Chairman and chief executive of Microsoft

3. Greg Dyke
Director general of BBC

4. Steve Case
Chairman and chief executive designate of AOL Time Warner

5. Sir Martin Sorrell
Group chief executive of WPP

6. Charles Allen
Chairman of Granada

7. Tony Ball
Chief executive of BSkyB

8. Paul Dacre
Group editor of Associated Newspapers and editor of Daily Mail

9. Gordon Brown
Chancellor of the Exchequer

10. Richard Curtis
Screen writer

11. Michael Green
Chairman of Carlton

12. Stuart Prebble
Chief executive of ITV

13. Mark Thompson
Director of BBC television

14. David Yelland
Editor of The Sun

15. Barclay Knapp
Chief executive of NTL

16. Peter Bazalgette
Creative director of Endemol Entertainment UK

17. Conrad Black
Chairman of Hollinger

18. Michael Jackson
Chief executive of Channel 4

19. Piers Morgan
Editor in chief of The Mirror and Sunday Mirror

20. Philip Graf
Chief executive of Trinity Mirror

See also:

04 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
Record investment for BBC
10 Jan 00 | Business
AOL and Time Warner to merge
28 Mar 01 | TV and Radio
Murdoch: Still going strong at 70
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