Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Arise Gina Rinehart -Media Baroness

What is happening with Australia's richest woman Gina Rinehart ?. 

2 years ago she was content with quietly cruising the Mediterranean after a protracted legal  battle with her ex-mother-in-law Rose Hancock Porteus, the Filipino maid who married Gina's dad, the late West Australian mining magnate Lang Hancock when he was 70. Gina, who was left a $4.5 billion fortune by her father claimed there had been skulduggery over her father's death although it came to nought.

Now she has embarked on media buying frenzy and looks set to join her Perth friend the billionaire Kerry Stokes who moved east and swept up the Seven TV Network along with Pacific Magazines which he purchased from Rupert Murdoch's nephew Matt Handbury.

Today Gina bought just under 5% of Fairfax Media, publishers of the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age in Melbourne along with several chains of suburban newspapers. Fairfax are the only serious rivals to the News Ltd empire. 

2 months ago, as the young tycoons Lachlan Murdoch and James Packer banded together to purchase 17% of the Ten TV Network, 4 weeks later Reinhardt  stumped down a few million for a 10% stake in Ten.

Just 6 months ago the normally reclusive Gina clambered aboard a pick-up truck in a Perth park opposite the Hyatt Hotel  to protest then PM Kevin Rudd's proposed 40 % mining tax. Reinhardt was joined by fellow miner and billionaire Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest. She helpfully handed out printed placards to the arriving protesters-all mining workers. 

Has this new public profile sparked of a deisre to become a player and power broker in the media world ?