Fact Check

Did Rupert Murdoch Say He's 'Proud' of the Enemies He's Got?

The media tycoon also called himself a “catalyst for change.”

Published April 17, 2023

Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation, captured during the session 'Advice to the US President on Competitiveness' at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, January 30, 2009. (World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons)
Image courtesy of World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons
Rupert Murdoch said, “When you're a catalyst for change, you make enemies — and I'm proud of the ones I've got.”

Media mogul and CEO of News Corp, Rupert Murdoch, has been in the news for the succession drama regarding the leadership of his empire, and a massive lawsuit that threatens Fox News, the conservative U.S. media outlet that Murdoch owns. 

A quote attributed to Murdoch regularly makes the rounds in which he allegedly says, "When you're a catalyst for change, you make enemies — and I'm proud of the ones I've got." 

The quote popped up on BrainyQuote, QuoteFancy, and a number of other blogs and sites that attribute phrases, though not always accurately, to famous people. 

In this case, Murdoch did indeed say those words in an interview with Time magazine on June 28, 2007. Murdoch was talking about his efforts to acquire The Wall Street Journal, a widely respected business newspaper. Many of his associates argued that he was thinking about his legacy through the acquisition, and wanted to upgrade his reputation as an owner of tabloid papers and the conservative television outlet Fox News.

In response to that assessment, Murdoch scoffed, "I'm not looking for a legacy, and you'll never shut up the critics. I've been around 50 years. When you're a catalyst for change, you make enemies — and I'm proud of the ones I've got."

He is described in the article as taking pride in his ownership of "trashy" tabloids: "Murdoch wouldn't be Murdoch if he didn't love sticking it to sanctimonious J-school toffs. 'When the Journal gets its Page 3 girls,' he jokes late one night, 'we'll make sure they have M.B.A.s.'"


"Inside Rupert Murdoch's Succession Drama." Vanity Fair, 12 Apr. 2023, https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/04/rupert-murdoch-cover-story. Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

Pooley, Eric. "Exclusive: Rupert Murdoch Speaks." Time, 28 June 2007. content.time.com, https://content.time.com/time/subscriber/article/0,33009,1638438-2,00.html. Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

Rupert Murdoch Quote: "When You're a Catalyst for Change, You Make Enemies – and I'm Proud of the Ones I've Got." https://quotefancy.com/quote/1337821/Rupert-Murdoch-When-you-re-a-catalyst-for-change-you-make-enemies-and-I-m-proud-of-the. Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

"Rupert Murdoch Quotes." BrainyQuote, https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/rupert_murdoch_431068. Accessed 17 Apr. 2023.

Nur Nasreen Ibrahim is a reporter with experience working in television, international news coverage, fact checking, and creative writing.