BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Media mogul Rupert Murdoch got a standing ovation Tuesday night at the 23rd Hall of Fame gala conducted by The Television Academy, better known as the force behind the Emmy Awards.
Introduced by Katey Sagal, who joined FOX in 1987 as Peggy Bundy on the hit "Married With Children" and now stars on the FX sensation "Sons of Anarchy," Murdoch was described as "not your typical boss," but rather one who "made huge gambles and pushed boundaries at every turn."
"I'll tell you something else about my boss. Most bosses worry about budgets and spreadsheets. But when Rupert sees opportunities, he bets and he bets big," Sagal told the crowd. "Most bosses hate competition... not my boss. Rupert launched Fox News in 1996, eight years later it was the top rated cable news channel. It has been the top every since. And most bosses sit in desk chairs and start to take it easy when they've hit the top... Not my boss."
Murdoch, who also happened to be celebrating his 83rd birthday at the swanky soiree and was joined by his sons Lachlan and James, said FOX was a "family company," and shared some of his secrets of success and continued motivation for revolutionizing the entertainment and media landscape.
"I'm not interested in cake and certainly not candles. At my age, that would be a fire hazard," Murdoch joked, adding that his wish for everyone would be to have a career and life as varied and interesting as his has been thus far. "One that leaves you excited to jump out of bed even at 83."
Murdoch said that with all of the business risks he has taken -- some that worked, some that didn't - his goal has been to provide the consumer with as much choice as possible.
"I didn't get into the television business because I wanted to see myself on the screen... But I believe in providing the consumer with choice," Murdoch said. "No one thought there was room for another network but we took risks (with Fox) others would not. Later came upstarts like Fox News which no one thought could compete with CNN."
And with digital technology now dominating media and entertainment, Murdoch intends to spend many more birthdays challenging the status quo.
"With all of the new mobile devices, people are watching more television than ever reach more people than ever," he added. "The very fact there is so much choice forces us to be better and better... All of us here enjoy a great privilege, and an enormous social responsibility."
The event, hosted by Tom Bergeron, also inducted the late Ray Dolby, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David E. Kelley, Brandon Stoddard and Jay Leno.
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