Bloomberg tops Forbes media list

New York mayor has net worth of $17.5 billion

With a net worth of $17.5 billion, Michael Bloomberg, the New York mayor and owner of the financial news service that bears his name, is the richest American in the media business.

According to the latest Forbes list of wealthiest Americans, Anne Cox Chambers is No. 2 with $9 billion. She's the daughter of James Cox, who bought the Dayton Evening News for $26,000 in 1898 and parlayed it into Cox Enterprises, an empire consisting of a cable TV company, 15 TV stations, 86 radio stations and 17 daily newspapers.

John Kluge is next with $6.5 billion. Kluge sold his Metromedia company to WorldCom in 2001 for $1.3 billion. At one time, Kluge was the richest man in the world, but many of his restaurant investments went south.

At fourth is Philip Anschutz, who is worth $6 billion even after his AEG concert promotion business lost a small fortune when Michael Jackson died. Anschutz, an energy mogul, also dabbles in movies and just about every other form of entertainment, and his real estate holdings include Staples Center in Los Angeles and other concert/sports venues nationwide.

News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch, with $6 billion, is fifth on the Forbes list of American media tycoons, and David Geffen is sixth. Geffen, the famed music executive and a founder of DreamWorks, is worth $5 billion.

Rounding out the top 10: Charles Ergen of Dish Network and EchoStar ($4.9 billion); Donald Newhouse, a magazine mogul with a portfolio that includes House & Garden and Conde Nast ($4 billion); and directors George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, each with $3 billion.

Further down the list are Oprah Winfrey ($2.3 billion); Sumner Redstone ($2 billion); Ted Turner ($1.8 billion); and Barry Diller ($1.15 billion).

With $50 billion, Bill Gates tops the list.