Media Powerlist: The richest media company directors and their power

By Ellie Bagshaw

Media company directors with net worths in the billions

Directors of big media companies have net worths in the billions. Rupert Murdoch, Richard Desmond, Kevin Beatty and Aidan Barclay are four of the richest media company directors.

These four directors own four of the biggest media companies- News Corp UK& Ireland Limited, Northern & Shell Media Group Limited, Daily Mail and General Trust plc and Telegraph Media Group Limited.

Murdoch has the biggest net worth reaching £19.2b. Aidan Barclay has the second largest of £5b. Desmond and Beatty are worth around £1.2 b.

As well as being the richest, Rupert Murdoch is also the most powerful media director. With connections to and ownership of many international media companies and newspapers.


The difference in salaries between directors of media companies and employees is drastic in the majority of big media companies.

Journalists working at the Daily Telegraph earn around £35,000 whereas Murdoch has a £5m salary. Journalists at the Daily Mail earn on average £19,000 to £31,000 a year. Kevin Beatty has a salary of £2m.

This massive wage gap between directors and employees has been criticized by workers.

In February 2018, cleaners at The Daily Mail started a petition for a pay rise from the poverty wage of £7.50 to the London Living Wage of £10.20.

Juliana, one of the cleaners who started the petition, said that the manager of the Daily Mail’s contracting company MITIE refused to sit down and talk to their representative union, United Voices of the World, about the issue.

“They threatened to sack us all if we ever strike” said Juliana.

The pressure of the petition and looming strikes led to the Daily Mail agreeing to pay the cleaners the living wage.

The United Voices of the World Union said:

“We were overwhelmed but not surprised by the level of public support of our members. Companies such as the Daily Mail are only interested in profit- they do not care about their workers”

Similarly Richard Desmond, owner of the Daily Star and Daily Express, was forced to give a pay rise to his employees in February 2017. Previous to the pay rise, Desmond had given £1m to the political party UKIP.

Campaigners from the Nation Union of Journalists (NUJ) had been pushing for 8 years for a salary increase for workers at the Daily Express and the Daily Star.

Staff earning less than £60,000 a year were given a 2% increase. Staff earning over £60,000 were given a £1,200 increase.



About the Author

This article was produced by a student or students on the BA in Journalism at Leeds Beckett University.

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