The Fifth Estate: Les Hinton
With Sally Warhaft, Les Hinton – Rupert Murdoch's right-hand man for more than 50 years – talks about the past, present and future of the mainstream press … as well as life alongside the man he calls ‘an authentic colossus’.
Hinton has enjoyed both a close-up and a long view of the radical changes that have swept through the newspaper business. His new book, The Bootle Boy, is a memoir of his progress through the ranks of the Murdoch Empire.
Prior to stepping down in 2011, Hinton oversaw the administration of mastheads including the Times, the News of the World and Wall Street Journal; newspapers that, for better or for worse, shaped destinies and held a stake in world affairs.
In the book, Hinton gives an insider’s account of the media jostlings of major political figures, provides his own perspective on the phone-hacking scandal and reflects on changing revenue models for newspapers.
Les Hinton was born in Bootle, Merseyside, in 1944, the son of a British Army sergeant. For the first 15 years of his life he lived in Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Germany, Singapore, and numerous places in Britain. In 1959, his family emigrated to Adelaide, South Australia, where he became a copy boy in a small evening newspaper owned by a rising young publisher, Rupert Murdoch.
In the next 52 years, as Murdoch grew his empire, Hinton travelled the world – first as a correspondent, later as one of Murdoch’s most senior executives. He lives with his wife Kath in New York and London. The Bootle Boy: An Untidy Life in News is his first book.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians' lives in the fog of the Covid-19 pandemic. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.