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50 People Who Matter 2011 | 9. Rupert Murdoch

Sky diver.

This time last year, it seemed that all Rupert Murdoch had to worry about was the success of the Times/Sunday Times paywall. With the reluctance of the Metropolitan Police to pursue allegations of phone-hacking at the News of the World and the readiness of the Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to look favourably on Murdoch's bid to buy a majority stake in BSkyB, News Corporation's future looked set to be fair. Things have unravelled spectacularly since then: Murdoch hastily closed the News of the World after it was revealed that an investigator working for the paper had hacked the voicemail of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, and he abandoned the BSkyB acquisition soon afterwards. The bad news keeps coming, with Murdoch's son James asked to return to the House of Commons to revisit the evidence he gave in July to the culture, media and sport select committee. The sun, it seems, is setting on the Murdoch empire.

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This article first appeared in the 26 September 2011 issue of the New Statesman, The fifty people who matter