The Murdochs: Empire Of Influence vs Succession

The Murdochs: Empire Of Influence vs Succession

The Murdochs: Empire of Influence (IMDb)

The Murdochs: Empire of Influence (CNN)

Based on the riveting reporting by the New York Times Magazine, this CNN Original Series explores the legacy of media mogul Rupert Murdoch.


‘THE MURDOCHS: EMPIRE OF INFLUENCE’ (9 P.M., CNN) This new seven-part CNN original documentary series about Rupert Murdoch’s media dynasty is based on Jonathan Mahler and Jim Rutenberg’s New York Times Magazine article “How Rupert Murdoch’s Empire of Influence Remade the World.” It features exclusive reporting from The New York Times, interviews with people who worked inside the Murdoch companies, and decades of rich archival footage. Mahler and Rutenberg serve as consulting producers for the series.



CNN Original Series “The Murdochs: Empire of Influence” To Air on CNN This Fall
Produced with Left/Right and The New York Times Based on Their Groundbreaking Article

The Series Launches with Special Two-Episode Premiere on Sunday, September 25 at 9pm & 10pm ET


Series Promo:

NEW YORK – (June 16, 2022) – CNN announced today that the highly anticipated The Murdochs: Empire of Influence will air on the cable network this fall. Produced with Left/Right and The New York Times, this is the definitive telling of the world’s most powerful media family and their complicated history. The CNN Original Series launches with a special two-episode premiere Sunday, September 25 at 9pm and 10pm ET, only on CNN.

Based on Jonathan Mahler and Jim Rutenberg’s riveting New York Times Magazine article “How Rupert Murdoch’s Empire of Influence Remade the World,” this CNN Original Series explores the legacy of media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the dynasty he built. Featuring exclusive reporting from The New York Times, interviews with people who worked inside the Murdoch companies, and decades of rich archival footage, this seven-part series goes behind the scenes of the improbable rise of a media tycoon, his outsized influence around the globe, and the intense succession battle between his children over who will inherit his throne. Cinematic and thrilling, The Murdochs: Empire of Influence charts the high-stakes deal making, political maneuvering, and dynastic betrayals – and how the ambitions of one family birthed one of the largest media empires in history. The series will regularly air on Sundays at 10pm ET on CNN.
Executive producers for The Murdochs: Empire of Influence are Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver and Erica Sashin for Left/Right; Sam Dolnick and Kathleen Lingo for The New York Times; and Amy Entelis, Lyle Gamm and Jon Adler for CNN Original Series.
Journalists Jonathan Mahler and Jim Rutenberg of The New York Times serve as consulting producers for the series.

The Murdochs: Empire of Influence will stream live for pay TV subscribers via and CNN OTT and mobile apps under “TV Channels” or CNNgo where available. The series will also be available On Demand the day after the broadcast premiere to pay TV subscribers via, CNN apps, and Cable Operator Platforms.


About CNN Original Series
The CNN Original Series group develops non-scripted programming for television via commissioned projects, acquisitions, and in-house production. Amy Entelis, executive vice president of talent and content development, oversees CNN Original Series and CNN Films for CNN Worldwide. Lyle Gamm, senior vice president of current programming, supervises production of all CNN Original Series. Since 2012, the team has produced over 40 CNN Original Series, including Peabody and 13-time Emmy® Award-winning Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, five-time Emmy® Award-winning United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, Emmy® Award-winning Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, and critically acclaimed series including This is Life with Lisa Ling, First Ladies, the “Decades” series, American Dynasties: The Kennedys, The Windsors: Inside the Royal Dynasty, The History of Comedy, Race for the White House, and many others. For more information about CNN Original Series, please follow @CNNOriginals via Twitter, and join Keep Watching, our exclusive, members-only community that enables fans to stay engaged with their favorite CNN Original Series & Films

About Warner Bros. Discovery
Warner Bros. Discovery (NASDAQ: WBD) is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates and distributes the world’s most differentiated and complete portfolio of content and brands across television, film, and streaming. Available in more than 220 countries and territories and 50 languages, Warner Bros. Discovery inspires, informs and entertains audiences worldwide through its iconic brands and products including: Discovery Channel, discovery+, CNN, DC, Eurosport, HBO, HBO Max, HGTV, Food Network, OWN, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Magnolia Network, TNT, TBS, truTV, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Warner Bros. Pictures, Warner Bros. Television, WB Games, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies, Discovery en Español, Hogar de HGTV, and others. For more information, please visit



CNN’s ‘The Murdochs: Empire of Influence’ Paints a Media Mogul Who’d Say – Then Betray – Anything to Get His Way


If keeping one’s word is the measure of a man, well – Rupert Murdoch comes up way short in “The Murdochs: Empire of Influence.” From his beginnings as an Australian newspaperman to becoming the world’s most influential media mogul, Murdoch repeatedly made promises that not only did he not keep, but brazenly broke the moment he got what he wanted.

Outside of that, CNN’s seven-part documentary miniseries plays “The Murdochs” largely down the middle – a surprisingly nonpartisan portrait of a man and his family, produced by a bitter political and journalistic rival, that’s light on bombshells (virtually none) and heavy on fascinating archival footage of a young Murdoch who never seemed to stop trying to please his late father.

Understandably, “The Murdochs: Empire of Influence” was made without the participation of its main subjects: Murdoch and his three middle children – Elisabeth, Lachlan and James – who are, to this day, aligning themselves to be his sole successor. (Inevitable comparisons to the hit show “Succession” would seem silly since the HBO drama was originally conceived as a movie about the Murdochs, but the one-successor-to-rule-them-all theory is indeed the reality.)

Though the patriarch, now 91, suffered a near-death scare in a fall aboard son Lachlan’s megayacht in 2018, the derby to control one of the world’s most powerful media empires continues apace. And though Lachlan seems to have a strong inside track, with this family, fortunes can change quickly.

“[He] has always intended to pass off his company to one of his children in particular,” says New York Times journalist Jonathan Mahler, co-author of an extensive 2019 piece on the Murdochs. “But to designate an heir would be an admission of his mortality.”

“Empire of Influence” was originally produced as an original documentary for the doomed digital platform CNN+, long before Warner Bros. Discovery axed the flailing startup and brought aboard Chris Licht to give the network a less partisan tone. For that reason, it’s all the more impressive how restrained its portrait of Murdoch turned out to be. Which is not to say punches are pulled.


“Empire” pays particular attention to Murdoch’s willingness to tell potential sellers – once-liberal bastions like Australia’s The Daily Telegraph, London’s News of the World and The New York Post in particular – that he has no plans to meddle with their editorial policy … then do exactly that the very moment he gets the keys to the front door.

“He was,” says Roger Stone (yes, that Roger Stone!) “the most ruthless man in business history.”

But Murdoch’s broken promises weren’t a mere matter of publishing right-wing opinion and leaning into visceral, tabloid-heavy muck. The first two episodes, which aired Sunday, also dive into Murdoch’s aggressive political meddling, from using the Post to anoint New York City Mayor Ed Koch in 1977 to helping deliver New York State in 1980 for a victorious Ronald Reagan (a favor he would call in many times, from expedited U.S. citizenry to the extraordinary FCC exception he was granted in order to buy TV stations in markets where he already owned newspapers).

“The newspaper can create great controversies, it can throw light on injustice,” a young Murdoch calmly tells an interviewer in the late ’60s. “Just as it can do the opposite, it can hide things and be a great power for evil.”

His own words – but a typical CNN viewer who might be hoping to see Murdoch with horns and a pitchfork will be disappointed. They may even find themselves admiring a young and forward-driving Murdoch, dark of hair and eyebrows, barely recognizable were it not for that satisfied half-smile he continues to wear to this day.

And whatever pathos Murdoch bears on the surface seems to come from his father – Sir Keith Murdoch, himself a self-made newspaper mogul in the time of the World Wars, who was by all accounts “hard” and “cold” toward his eldest son.

“He didn’t think Rupert had what it took,” says Jim Rutenberg, also co-author of the New York Times piece from 2019, reporting upon which much of “Empire” relies.

When Keith Murdoch died, Rupert was studying abroad. By the time he made his way home, his father was already buried, and his mother had been convinced to sell half of his newspaper holdings. With only a single Adelaide newspaper left to start with, Murdoch felt cheated – and went on a mission to restore the other half (and with the steamroller forging ahead, certainly didn’t stop there).

As a father himself, Rupert Murdoch is described as loving and attentive, if not always around. And when he was, he stoked interest in the media in his boys (Elisabeth wasn’t considered a contender early on because of her gender, though that changed as she began to grow into her natural acumen).

“He was not raising children, he was raising media moguls,” Mahler says. “This is the origin story of three children whose entire lies would be shaped by the pursuit of one thing.”

But in terms of handicapping the race to take over Murdoch’s vast wealth and influence, “Empire” presents no clear favorite by the end of Episode 2. “Elisabeth is very savvy, very cunning,” Rutenberg says, the closest thing to a candidate endorsement in “Empire.” “She’s the most like Rupert.”

Lachlan is portrayed as the most ambitious, openly gunning for the job – and currently co-heads Fox with his father. James, at first seemingly disinterested in his father’s Machiavellian schemes, becomes a player as the TV piece of the puzzle takes centerstage.

Sure enough, by Episode 2, we’re beginning to see Murdoch’s blooming interest in television in the ’80s. With that big assist from Reagan, he makes a huge gamble on buying Metromedia TV stations for $2 billion, then 20th Century Fox for $575 million – the ingredients he would need to create NewsCorp and, by proxy, Fox News.

“He has a great vision for what it’s lacking in the landscape, not only in print but in television,” says Maury Povich, whose “Inside Edition” would be an early glimpse into the Murdoch TV ethos.

“Empire” might not deliver any new revelations about the Murdoch family saga, but does an admirable job of weaving together the arc of a family story that has now touched 10 decades – and shows no signs of coming to a conclusion soon.



Succession is giving the corporate bro wardrobe an update - December 16, 2021

The cast of Succession are changing the way men dress for the corporate arena

By Damien Woolnough

Not since Mad Men taught executives how to fold pocket squares has a television show about awful people been so widely imitated in the workplace as Succession. While women have dissected the working wardrobe of turtleneck-loving Australian actress Sarah Snook as Shiv Roy, it’s the spiteful sons of Logan Roy, played by unexpected influencer Brian Cox, who are changing the corporate office dress code for men.

“It’s definitely having an impact and gotten to the point where I am going to have to watch the show for work,” says Andrew Byrne, co-founder of men’s tailor The Cloakroom. “It’s not so much about the individual characters. It’s the way they appear as a group. In a scene at a wedding in Italy everything matched perfectly.”

There is a uniformity to the relaxed business approach of the characters, such as Kieran Culkin and Jeremy Strong as Roman and Kendall Roy, where ties are signals of stress or remnants of the old guard, puffer vests are worn like armour and the desperation of logo-laden coats and jackets is replaced by the reassuring expense of pieces in plain cashmere.

“People are still wearing suits,” said Miles Wharton, co-founder of The Bespoke Corner Tailors. “The shift has changed towards the uber luxury we are seeing in Succession. People are ordering handmade suede jackets, and you just didn’t see that in Australia before.”

It’s no longer enough for corporate bros to flash a Rolex or Panerai watch, undo some shirt buttons, roll up their sleeves and wear RM Williams instead of polished brogues to look as though they are moving towards a corner office instead of a hot desk.

“You can get a leather bomber jacket for a more relaxed look, but you might want to match your zip to the same colour as your watch,” Byrne said. “We have a factory three hours outside Tokyo that works with sheep leather, which is super soft and can find a matte black zip for your matte black watch.”

Dressing to look rich, not surprisingly, costs a lot of money. That jacket, softer than the seat of your private jet, costs from $3595. “You’re effectively making a piece from scratch and can dial in all the details that make a difference.”

Not everyone is rocking up to work in four figure bomber jackets, with Byrne noting that people become courageously casual the higher they rise in an organisation. Just like Succession’s bumbling, bottom of the totem-pole Cousin Greg (Nicholas Baum), conservative suits are still the staple for those starting out.

“Everyone is dressing for the station that they want to be and that means that you can’t be too forward or ostentatious,” Byrne said. Translation, if the boss is wearing MJ Bale and a Swatch watch don’t turn up in a Prada suit flashing a Cartier tank.

Then there are the challenges of nailing the relaxed cool of the Roys’ once you’re on the ascendant. “People think it’s easy to wear sneakers and a bomber with jeans to work. It’s not. You have to consider the fit, where the bottom of the bomber hits on your body and the style and wash of jeans...”

One trend Succession’s power brokers own is non-branded baseball caps. Don’t head into the back of your wardrobe and unpick the label off an old Ed Hardy trucker. These simple caps will cost you $690 if you’re shopping at Succession favourite Brunello Cucinelli. That’s the wool version, you will need to save more for the cashmere.

“We thought about selling our own version,” said Wharton. “Our shoppers are looking for those plain fabrics, such as cashmeres and premium wools. We almost ordered some.”

Wharton might just have made a shrewd business decision worthy of the Roy family. A representative from KPMG consultancy’s Sydney office confirmed that there have been no cashmere baseball caps this week. Perhaps next season.

(The Sydney Morning Herald)