Kerry Packer

Kerry Packer

Kerry Packer and Malcolm Turnbull

Kerry Packer passed away on the 26th December 2005

Kerry Packer and James Packer

Kerry Packer and Malcolm Turnbull

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Kerry Packer was Australia’s richest man for many years. Packer was a media mogul in every sense of the word.

The media business is what attributes to his wealth and power, and with ownership of the Channel Nine television network, and 60% of the magazine market, and interests in Pay TV, he is a force to be reckoned with.

Sir Frank Packer established the media empire in 1933, with Women’s Weekly, the magazine was hugely successful and it allowed Sir Frank to expand his business beginning with newspapers like Sydney's Daily Telegraph.

In a rare interview broadcast on radio in 1979, Packer Jr. talked about his tough upbringing, at the hand of his father.

"I mean I got a lot of hidings because that's the sort of person I was and the sort of person he was."

Kerry's young life was lonely and disrupted.

He was sent to boarding school at the age of five, and just a year later caught a serious illness called polio myelitis or infantile paralysis.

Today children are immunised against the virus, but in the 1940s severe cases could kill or leave a child crippled.

Kerry's case was severe and he spent nine months immobilised in an iron lung, an early version of a respirator, which helped him to breathe.

By the time he got back to boarding school, at the age of nine, he was way behind his fellow students.

Fortunately his recovery from polio had been complete because it was his size and strength that helped him excel in one area , sport.

"My life was sport. I was academically stupid. My method of surviving through school and those sorts of things was sport."

Kerry finished school when he was 19 and went to work for his father's newspapers. He took over the business when Sir Frank died in 1974.

However difficult their relationship, Kerry admired his father and from the start he was a lot like him.

Kerry also liked to win, and his often did.

In 1977, when he couldn't get exclusive television rights to Sheffield and Test cricket he made up his own teams with the best players in the world and started World Series Cricket.

If the Australian Cricket Board wanted the services of these players it would have to give Kerry the TV rights and, in 1979, after a long struggle, he got his way.

Another business trait of Kerry Packer's is timing - knowing when to sell and when to buy.

In 1987, he sold his two Channel Nine TV stations to Alan Bond for one billion dollars.

It was a lot more than they were worth and the deal made Kerry Packer his first billion.

Three years later, Bond was in financial trouble and Kerry bought the stations back for just two hundred and fifty million dollars.

But things haven't always gone Kerry Packer's way.

In 1991, he attempted to increase his media empire by buying the Fairfax newspaper group, today often referred to as f2.

Many members of parliament believed Kerry already had way too much control over the media, and wanted to limit what he could own. Kerry wasn't happy and his anger gave us a rare public glimpse of his personal determination.

"I'm telling you there is no arrangement. No agreement. I am not going to run John Fairfax."

Today Kerry Packer leaves most of the running of his business to others, in particular his son, James.

His greatest love is polo and he spends three months of every year in England playing the game and millions of dollars on horses, stables and players for his own team.

In 1990, a heart attack while playing polo left him literally dead for six minutes until he was revived by ambulance officers.

But once again his return to form has been spectacular. 

Kerry Packer has, and will continue to leave his mark on the Australian media business.

*Kerry Packer passed away in December 2005

*Mediaman would like to publicly thank Kerry Packer's staff for their support and assistance over the years.

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Australian Consolidated Press

The Rural Press

Australian Women's Weekly
English Woman's Weekly
New Zealand Woman's Day
Take 5
Woman's Day
Women's Lifestyle
Bride To Be
Good Medicine
Harper’s BAZAAR
Practical Parenting
She’s Having A Baby
Australian Playstation 2 Magazine
Official Aust. PlayStation
Disney Adventures
Winnie The Pooh
Australian Gourmet Traveller
Australian Table
Qantas - The Australian Way
The Wine Magazine
Lifestyle Home/Garden
Australian House & Garden
Burke’s Backyard
4x4 Australia
Australian Auto Action
Australian Motorcycle News
Caravan World
Street Machine
The Bulletin
Australian Personal Computer
PC User
The Picture
The Picture Premium
Harness Racing Weekly
Inside Edge Inside
Rugby League Week

TV & Film -


Nine network free-to-air television stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Darwin and Brisbane


25% of Foxtel cable
25% of Foxtel Sports
Sky News Australia
20.7% in New Regency Productions - US film/TV production

Cinemas -


Mediaman - additional reading

Kerry Packer Biography (Full credit to ABC Online

Australia's richest man cleared of breaching media laws (Full credit to World Socialist Web site)

Mediaman - Eddie McGuire profile

Profile - Network Nine - Publishing And Broadcasting Limited

Profile - James Packer

Profile - Keith "Bendio" Sloan

Profile - Eddie McGuire

Profile - Current Affairs





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