Two broadcast owners are new additions to the annual Forbes 400 list, but via unfortunate circumstances. Cox Enterprises Chairman and CEO James Cox Kennedy, pictured, and his sister, Blair Parry-Okedon, inherited their 6.3 billion each from the recent death of their mother, tying them as America’s 50th most wealthy person. Their aunt, Anne Cox Chambers, is #24 with 12.6 billion. Cox Enterprises is a major group owner in radio, TV, cable and newspapers. Who else made the list?
Numero uno, of course, is Bill Gates, with 59 billion, best known as the founder of Microsoft, but dear to us because he is also a major investor in Fisher Communications, making him both a radio and TV owner. #2 Warren Buffett, with 52 billion, is a TV magnate via Berkshire Hathaway’s stake in Washington Post Company, of which he is a director. Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page check in at a tie for #5, with 18.5 billion each. #11 Paul Allen, 16.8 billion, counts Charter Communications (cable TV) and Rose City Radio among his holdings. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, #25 at 11.5 billion, owns Bloomberg LP, which in turn owns a radio station, radio news service and Bloomberg Television. And last among the double-digit media billionaires is EchoStar’s Charlie Ergen, #27 at 10.2 million.
|Here are more current and former broadcasters who made the cut:|
John Kluge, 9.5B; Rupert Murdoch, 8.8B; Philip Anschutz, 7.6B; Sumner Redstone, 7.6B; Eric Schmidt, 6.5B; Sam Zell, 6B; Steve Jobs, 5.7B; Haim Saban, 3.4B; Jerry Perenchio, 3.1B; Mitchell Rales, 3B; Craig McCaw, 2.8B; Steven Rales, 2.8B; Mark Cuban, 2.6B; Oprah Winfrey, 2.5B; William Randolph Hearst III, 2.4B; Ted Turner, 2.3B; John Marriott Jr., 2.2B; Phoebe Hearst Cooke, 2.1B; Austin Hearst, 2.1B; David Hearst Jr., 2.1B, George Hearst Jr., 2.1B; Richard Marriott, 2.1B; Charles Munger, 2B; Stan Hubbard, 1.6B; Red McCombs, 1.6B; Barry Diller, 1.5B; Todd Wagner, 1.5B; Roy Disney, 1.4B; and Tom Hicks, 1.3B.
RBR/TVBR observation: What about Lowry Mays at Clear Channel? By our calculation, he just missed the list at 1.2 billion. We note though that while Ted Waitt made the list at 1.8 billion, his low-key brother Norman isn’t on the Forbes 400 list. We’re pretty sure that Norman Waitt, who cashed out of Gateway before its stock price plunged and invested in broadcasting and other ventures, actually has a larger fortune. He just doesn’t flaunt it.