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Sir Frank Packer

(1906—1974) media proprietor


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(1906–74), born Sydney, a well-known and influential media proprietor, was the son of Robert Clyde Packer (1879–1934), managing director of Smith's Weekly, 1919–33, and general manager of Associated Newspapers, 1931–33. Frank Packer began his career as a cadet reporter on his father's newspaper the Daily Guardian in 1923. He had become general advertising manager by 1927 and in 1933, with E.G. Theodore, founded Australia's best-known women's magazine, the Australian Women's Weekly. Packer was managing director of Consolidated Press from 1936 and chairman from 1957. The group, now Australian Consolidated Press, publishes a range of popular magazines such as the Bulletin, Cleo, the Australian Home Journal and the Australian Women's Weekly, as well as a number of suburban and country newspapers, and holds large interests in radio stations in Victoria and W A. The group also owned the Sydney Daily Telegraph, and the Sunday Telegraph, although these were sold to Rupert Murdoch's News Ltd in 1972. Chairman of television corporations in Melbourne and Sydney and credited with great right-wing political influence, Packer was also well known in racing and yachting circles. An authorised biography by Richard Whitington was published in 1971. Sir Frank Packer's two sons, Clyde Packer (1935–) and Kerry Packer (1937–), have also become well-known figures. Clyde Packer was a member of the NSW Legislative Council, 1964–76, and from 1959 was involved as administrator and part-owner of his father's publishing empire. From 1970 he was joint manager of the television corporations but resigned from all his positions in the Packer industries 1972–73. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he owns an entertainment agency and a magazine, New Times. Owner and founder of the Sydney magazine Forum, he has also been a major supporter of Quadrant. Kerry Packer has succeeded to his father's publishing and television empire, and has extended the group's interests into mining, real estate, film production and leisure industries. In 1977 he became a controversial figure in his own right when he launched World Series cricket. He was made AC in 1983. Journalist Paul Berry published The Rise and Rise of Kerry Packer (1993), which also deals extensively with the Packer dynasty.

From The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Literature.


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