Murdoch, BBC Big Winners in UK Media Power Survey

09 July 2002

Rupert Murdoch remains the most powerful figure in Britain’s media, according to the latest annual survey from

Drawn up by a panel of media experts using the criteria of cultural sway, economic muscle and political clout, the top 100 list was again headed by Murdoch because of the media mogul’s influence on the Labour government at a time when regulations governing the sector are being reformed.

However, the big winner this year is the publicly funded British Broadcasting Corporation, which took advantage of the ad-fuelled woes of its commercial rivals to dominate the TV, radio, online and magazine sectors.

BBC director general Greg Dyke came second in the poll behind Murdoch, with chairman Gavyn Davies at number 11 and director of television Jana Bennett at 42.

Given the major communications legislation currently moving through parliament, politicians also feature highly, with prime minister Tony Blair the highest new entrant at number three. In addition, Blair’s special media adviser Ed Richards, regarded as the most influential figure behind the draft communications bill, polled at 15.

As for the world of advertising, far and away the most influential figure is WPP Group boss Sir Martin Sorrell at number 5. Other ad-related entries include Maurice Saatchi (47), BMP DDB chairman Chris Powell (87) and the woolly puppet monkey used to advertise defunct dTV platform ITV Digital (100).

The overall top ten were:

1. Rupert Murdoch
2. Greg Dyke
3. Tony Blair
4. Tony Ball
5. Sir Martin Sorrell
6. Sir Christopher Bland
7. Paul Dacre
8. Viscount Rothermere
9. Richard Parsons
10. Bill Gates

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff