Elon Musk proposed to buy Twitter last month but billionaires buying media companies is not a recent trend. From newspapers to magazines to social networking services, the world’s wealthy have dominated the media landscape for centuries. Here’s a look at some of the billionaires around the world who have bought media companies in the last few years.
1. Jeff Bezos | Washington Post
Much to everyone’s surprise, Jeff Bezos bought Washington Post for $250 million while it was struggling back in 2013. As with the speculations that come with billionaires buying media companies, everyone thought that Jeff Bezos made the move to use the newspaper to shape people’s views to align them with his own. Instead, Bezos used his technical expertise to boost readership and has revolutionized its digital offerings.
2. Mukesh Ambani | Network 18
Mukesh Ambani is the second richest person in India and owns the largest TV network in the country, Network 18. Network 18 group channels include CNN News18, Colors TV, MTV India, Nickelodeon India, Comedy Central India, VH1 India, etc. The OTT platform Voot is also owned by Reliance’s Network 18. Apart from these, Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries also own the Indian edition of Forbes magazine, Forbes India.
3. Joe Mansueto | Inc. & Fast Company
Joe Mansueto is an American billionaire entrepreneur and the founder of Morningstar Inc., a financial services firm. He also owns a Major League Soccer club, Chicago Fire Club. Mansueto bought financial magazines Inc. and Fast Company in June 2005 with an aim to protect a brand held in high esteem.
4. Marc Benioff | Time
Marc Benioff is the co-founder, chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce, an enterprise cloud computing company. In 2018, Marc Benioff and his wife, Lynne Benioff, bought Time magazine for $190 million. Benioff wanted the magazine to be “unshackled” from financial constraints to carry out its mission to provide truthful, trustworthy information to readers.
5. Chatchaval Jiaravanon | Fortune
Chatchaval Jiaravanon is a member of Thailand’s richest family, which controls Charoen Pokphand, an agro-industrial and food conglomerate. In November 2018, Chatchaval Jiaravanon bought Fortune for $150 million as a personal investment because of his love for the brand and promised to provide capital to help the magazine grow without interfering in the publication’s day-to-day operations.
6. Laurene Powell Jobs | The Atlantic
Laurene Powell Jobs is the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. She is the founder and chair of Emerson Collective and has made plenty of investments via her firm. She bought The Atlantic in 2017 for over $100 million as a part of her philanthropic endeavours.
7. Elon Musk | Twitter
Elon Musk recently proposed to buy Twitter for $44 billion. Though he is having cold feet right now and planning to slash down the offer price, if this deal goes through, Elon Musk will become yet another billionaire who has bought a media company.