Skip to main content Skip to Search Box
Summary Article: Packer, Kerry Francis Bullmore
From The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Australian media proprietor, chair of Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH) 1974-1998. CPH, a privately-held company founded by Packer's father and the major shareholder in the publicly listed Publishing and Broadcasting Limited (PBL), which publishes such magazines as the Australian Women's Weekly, The Bulletin and also has interests in radio and television stations. In 1977 Packer created World Series Cricket, which introduced one-day matches and coloured kit to the game. The Business Review Weekly often named him as Australia's richest man, worth at the time of his death an estimated A$7 billion.

Kerry Packer's father was the media magnate Frank Packer who began as a cadet reporter and grew to be one of the most powerful media owners in Australia. Hampered by dyslexia and childhood polio, Kerry left school without a qualification and was given menial jobs on the family newspapers. Packer emerged from his father's shadow in 1972, when he brokered a deal to sell the Daily and Sunday Telegraph newspapers titles to rival Australian media magnate Rupert Murdoch. He took over the business after his father died in 1974. Packer sold his Channel Nine television stations to Australian entrepreneur Alan Bond for £458 million at the height of the 1987 boom, only to regain control three years later for a cut-price £100 million.

Kerry Packer was educated at two of Australia's top boarding schools – Cranbrook, in Sydney, and Geelong Grammar, near Melbourne. He only became heir to his father's media empire after a serious disagreement between his father and Kerry's academic elder brother, Clyde (who had been taken on as a journalist). When Packer launched the World Series Cricket tournaments, he claimed exclusive television rights in defiance of the game's ruling bodies. Later attempts in the mid-1990s to apply similar tactics to world rugby were less successful. In 1991 he attempted unsuccessfully to acquire newspaper publisher John Fairfax Holdings Ltd, subsequently reducing his stake in the company under the Australian Broadcasting Authority's cross-media ownership laws. In 1998 Packer merged the Melbourne Crown Casino with PBL and appointed his son as managing director. In the same year he also won a seven-year battle with the Australian authorities over tax demands.

His son, James Packer, formally assumed command of the family's publicly-quoted company, PBL in 1998.

© RM, 2018. All rights reserved.

Related Articles

Full text Article Packer familyPACKER FAMILY6890010000
The Macquarie Dictionary

1. 1879--1934, journalist and publisher; with others founded and produced Smith's Weekly (1919--33). 2. noun his son Sir (Douglas) Frank Hews

Full text Article PACKER, KERRY
Historical Dictionary of Australia

FRANCIS BULLMORE (1937–2005). Business magnate, and at his death, Australia's wealthiest man, Packer inherited publishing businesses that had been b

See more from Credo