Featured Profile: Penny Fowler

Bec Fary / July 03, 2013 04:17 PM

Who’s Who entrant and budding businesswoman Penny Fowler has strengthened her ties to one of the biggest media empires in the world. 

Penny Fowler

Penny Fowler with former Herald & Weekly Times Chair Julian Clarke (left) and uncle Rupert Murdoch (right). Photo credit: Herald Sun.

Born Penelope Anne Calvert-Jones, Penny is the latest Murdoch relative to take up the family business as the newly-appointed chair of the Herald & Weekly Times.

Penny’s grandparents, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch and Sir Keith Murdoch, established a firm family tradition of business and philanthropy, a model continued today by her media mogul uncle, Rupert Murdoch.

Sir Keith Murdoch ran the Herald & Weekly Times from 1929-1959. His daughter, and Penny’s mother, Janet Calvert-Jones, took up the mantle in 1989 and remained on the company’s board of directors until resigning last month.

Janet Calvert-Jones stepped down from the Herald & Weekly Times last month amidst a major shake-up and rebranding at News Corp. The company’s renaming to News Corp Australia, formerly News Limited, and division of the global brand into News Corp and 21st Century Fox, became official on Monday.

Former chairman Julian Clarke and board member Reg Cordina also stepped down to make way for what is being described as a “new era” at the company.

Speaking about the recent changes, Penny paid tribute to her family:

“I am following in both my grandfather’s and more recently my mother Janet’s footsteps. These are big shoes to fill,” she told the Herald Sun.

“My mother has done an amazing job, devoting 25 years to the Herald & Weekly Times and supporting our thousands of hard-working journalists and employees who bring these newspapers to life each day.”

As a division of News Corp, Rupert Murdoch’s global media and publishing company, The Herald & Weekly Times prints more than 4.5 million newspapers each week, including Australia’s most popular daily paper the Herald Sun.

Penny will be the only woman on the Herald & Weekly Times board. 

Alongside her appointment as chair, Penny has also been named the Herald & Weekly Times ambassador for Victoria which she said is vital to continuing her grandmother's legacy. 

"I am also delighted to take on an ambassadorial role in Victoria, continuing News Corp's legacy of supporting the communities within which we live and work, as well as the legacy of my grandmother, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, who made an enormous impact on the lives of so many people," she said. 

Besides her work in the media industry, Penny also has a background in business and marketing and is a committed philanthropist and patron of the arts. She is a director of the Australian Ballet, Chair of the McLelland Sculpture Park & Gallery and an ambassador for food charity Second-Bite.

Sources: Herald Sun, National Library of Australia. 

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