Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Philip Frederick Anschutz-Billionaire of the Day!

Net worth $5B, but may have been as high as $18B at the height of the bubble. His fortune started when, as a wildcatter, he hit a large oil deposit in Gillette, Wyoming. Unfortunately, it caught fire. Universal was then filming a biopic on Red Adair, and he convinced the company to pay $100,000 for the privilege of putting out his fire. Another wildcat find in Utah -- one billion barrels -- put him and his father in the $500M bracket. This money he invested in railroads, and out of their cross-country rights-of-way he formed Qwest Communications. Since then, Anschutz has pulled back from Qwest, and he is presently investing in entertainment ventures. He owns a handful of American professional soccer teams, the San Francisco Examiner (though now a mere shell of what the great paper once was), and most importantly, is now dabbling in moralistic filmmaking. He made Holes which quickly grossed $67M, and Because of Winn-Dixie, which grossed over $30M. A Sound of Thunder bucked this trend, making only $6M despite a budget some ten times that. Additionally he purchased the rights to C. S. Lewis' highly-allegoric Narnia works, and has great hopes for the first film from that series, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, which will be made with Disney's help. None of these films receive "R" ratings, and some of them have strong religious undertones. Anschutz thinks this is exactly what the "red states" want right now.
Philip Anschutz
AKA Philip Frederick Anschutz
Born: 28-Dec-1939
Birthplace: Great Bend, KS
Gender: MaleReligion: Presbyterian [1]
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Business
Party Affiliation: Republican
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Qwest billionaire
Mother: Marian Pfister Anschutz
Sister: Sue Anschutz-Rogers (older)
Wife: Nancy (two daughters, one son)
Son: Christian Anschutz
Qwest Founder (1996-)
Union Pacific Vice Chairman
Member of the Board of Union Pacific (1996-2006)
Member of the Board of Southern Pacific (1988-96, as Chairman, -1996) Member of the Board of Qwest (as Chairman, 1993-2002)

Political and Christian activism
Anschutz, a Republican donor and supporter of
George W. Bush's administration, has been an active patron of a number of religious and conservative causes:
Helped fund Colorado's 1992 Amendment 2, a ballot initiative designed to overturn local and state laws that prohibit discrimination against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation.
Helped fund the Discovery Institute, a think tank based in Seattle, Washington that promotes intelligent design and criticizes evolution. [22]
Supported the Parents Television Council, a group that protests against television indecency.[22]
Financed and distributed films with Christian themes, such as Amazing Grace and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, for mass audiences through his two film production companies and ownership of much of the Regal, Edwards and United Artists theater chains.
The Foundation for a Better Life.
In June, 2009, reports circulated that Anschutz was on the verge of purchasing the
conservative American opinion magazine The Weekly Standard from Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. The reports reasoned that, having purchased The Wall Street Journal in 2007, Murdoch's interest in the smaller publication had been less forceful.[23][24] For Anschutz' part, the magazine's editorial line would appear consonant with his political views.
In May 2003 New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer reached a settlement with Phil Anschutz after he was found guilty of accepting IPO shares from Salomon Smith Barney in exchange for his firm, Qwest's, investment banking business. He was given $4.4 million penalty. According to the New York Daily News, Anschutz made payments of $100,000 to the New York branches of 32 nonprofits and $200,000 each to six law schools as a penalty.[5] The payment was roughly equal to his profit from the practice of IPO "spinning".
Good Thing He Had A Republican Friend in the Whitehouse!
The Stealth Media Mogul
Dirk Smillie, 06.29.09, 6:00 AM ET
Jim Monaghan, a longtime aide to Denver tycoon Philip Anschutz, recalls an afternoon at Washington's Union Station when a TV crew from the PBS program NewsHour had come within a hair of doing the impossible: landing an interview with Anschutz, a man who never grants them. But when the PBS crew began shooting customers receiving free copies of Anschutz's paper, the Washington Examiner, they failed to notice a man two feet away from them, dressed in a track suit and sunglasses, who was helping distribute the papers. It was Anschutz.
Why hawk his own papers undercover? To collect honest feedback from customers, says Monaghan. "Anonymity has its benefits." Anschutz has done three interviews in four decades, which he considers "three too many," says Monaghan. He declined an interview request from Forbes for this story.
Flying under the radar keeps Anschutz watchers guessing, but does it work? "So far it has," says media analyst John Morton. Anschutz's latest acquisition, The Weekly Standard, loses an estimated $5 million annually. Virtually all media accounts of the sale, announced earlier this month, reported on the transaction with no comment as to how it fits into his vast collection of business ventures. Anschutz not only doesn't grant interviews, his company releases virtually no information on sales or strategy related to his newest foray: media.
Worth an estimated $5 billion, Anschutz founded Qwest Communications and owns or controls stakes in some 100 businesses. Among them: railroads; oil companies; cattle ranching; wind farms; national park concessions; professional hockey, basketball and soccer teams; Regal Entertainment Group, the largest movie operator in the U.S.; the Staples Center and Kodak Theater in Los Angeles; the 02 Dome in London, where the late Michael Jackson planned 50 concerts; and movie production house Walden Media.
Launching free tabloid throwaways, as Anschutz has for the past five years, seems like a puzzling fit in a collection of sports and show business properties. "It's a marginal business whose success really hasn't been tested yet," says Morton. Morton should know--he suggested the concept of a free daily in Washington to editors at Time Inc. nearly 30 years ago after Time’s Washington Star folded.
Anschutz has been giving away newspapers since 2004, the year he bought the San Francisco Examiner for $11 million. He has used the 139-year-old paper to create brand extensions for two other free papers and a social-networking venture. In 2005, he launched the Washington Examiner; in 2006, the Baltimore Examiner. Both were also free and carried the San Francisco Examiner's famed "Eagle" masthead. Last year he rolled out local Web sites targeting 90 cities under the Examiner name, packed with user-generated content from contributors called "examiners." These bloggers are paid based on page views their content generates.
With no paid circulation, Anschutz delivers his tabloid newspapers using what he calls "geo-targeting." Requested or not, they land on the front lawns and porches of homes in zip codes and “census blocks” of readers whose average annual household income is $73,000 or more. The pitch to advertisers: Forget spending a fortune on CPM-based ads in The Washington Post, which will reach thousands of readers who will never buy what you're selling. You'll get a better buy spending less to reach only the richest, best-educated households. Of course, it's hard to know whether these freebie editions make it to the kitchen table or the bird cage. Monaghan says eight of 10 households that get the papers read them.
Anschutz's distribution runs are based on days advertisers think readers want to see what they're selling--Thursdays and Sundays. On Thursday, when shoppers plan for the weekend, distribution is 260,000 in Washington, 200,000 in San Francisco and 236,000 in the recently closed Baltimore paper. The latter edition has drawn national advertisers like Macy's, Southwest Airlines and Citibank, plus local patrons like WJZ-TV, CrossRoads Mortgage and the Gutter Shutter Co. But margins for free newspapers generally hover at around 6%--pretty thin to survive an ad recession. At the start of this year, all three of Anchutz's dailies were losing money. Baltimore was apparently hurting the worst, so the paper was shuttered in February. The Anschutz company that owns the papers, Denver-based Clarity Media Group, hinted that expected advertising and printing synergies between the Baltimore and Washington dailies never materialized.
Anschutz cut his losses at his Baltimore paper but doesn't seem to mind losing much more with The Weekly Standard. A bastion of leading conservative writers, including founder Bill Kristol, executive editor Fred Barnes and columnist Charles Krauthammer, it resonates with Anschutz's political conservatism. The 80,000-circulation weekly may not advance his readership footprint much, but it will give him political influence. They'll join conservative voices Anschutz already has working for him at the Washington paper, like Michael Barone and Byron York.
Could Anschutz be planning to move The Weekly Standard to a free model, as he did the San Francisco Examiner? "That would dilute their demographics," says Morton. "Besides, conservatives are already affluent."

Intelligent design-related websites
The Discovery Institute has registered over two hundred website
domain names.[40]
The use of these sites is often in conjunction other
intelligent design-related sites registered and operated by Discovery Institute Fellows and associates. William Dembski, for example, registered and operates UncommonDescent.com, OverwhelmingEvidence.com, and DesignInference.com while the institute's Casey Luskin set up IdeaCenter.org.

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