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Rupert Murdoch is more powerful than the pope.
In its inaugural list of the world’s most powerful people, Forbes has the News Corp. chief at No. 7, ahead of such luminaries as the king of Saudi Arabia (No. 9), Pope Benedict XVI (No. 11) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (No. 17).
Topping the list is President Obama, followed by China president Jintao Hu, Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke and Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.
Bill Gates, the richest man in the world, is No. 10.
Murdoch is the only pure media mogul to crack the top 10, though Brin and Page certainly dabble in media, as does No. 6 on the list Carlos Slim Helu, the Telmex CEO who recently purchased a 6.4% stake in the New York Times.
Other media bigwigs on the Forbes list of the 67 most powerful people include No. 13 Jeff Immelt, the CEO and chairman of NBC Universal parent GE.
Prime Minister of Italy and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi is No. 12, while New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, founder of the business news service that bears his name, is No. 20.
Oprah Winfrey is No. 45, New York Times editor William Keller is No. 51, Al Jazeera director-general Khanfar Wadah is No. 54, Apple founder and Disney director Steve Jobs is No. 57 and BBC director-general Mark Thompson is No. 65.
Forbes held its list to 67 “based on the conceit that one can reduce the world’s 6.7 billion people to the one in every 100 million that matter.”
Its criteria consisted of: the number of people one influences; one’s ability to project power beyond one’s immediate sphere of influence; control of or access to significant financial resources; and how actively one wields power.
The list even includes a few of the more notorious drug traffickers, terrorists and other assorted outlaws. Osama bin Laden, for example, is No. 37.
The entire list can be found at www.forbes.com/power.
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