Rupert Murdoch Pulls a John Dutton, Buys 340,000-acre Montana Ranch

by Matthew Memrick
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Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch must like John Dutton and the “Yellowstone” show so much that he recently bought a 340,000-acre Montana ranch.

The modern Western series is on rival network Paramount+, but what does that matter. Murdoch can easily afford this ranch. He bought the $200 million ranch from Matador Cattle Co., a subsidiary of mega-company Koch Industries.

Forbes magazine reported that the Australian-born businessman is worth $21.1 billion.  

As for John Dutton’s ranch, Town and Country magazine noted that the TV show ranch location is about 2,500 acres in Darby, Montana.

Beaverhead Ranch A Massive Deal For Murdoch

The recent deal was the largest ranch sale in Montana history. The question, however, is this a retirement ranch for the 90-year-old mogul and his wife?

A Rupert Murdoch spokesperson didn’t budge much on why he snapped up the property, saying the owner looks “forward to continually enhancing both the commercial cattle business and the conservation assets across the ranch.”

According to the Great Falls Tribune, the vast ranch borders Montana’s Blacktail Wildlife Management Area and Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in the Centennial Valley. 

The Daily Mail reported that the ranch was the first in the United States to receive Wildlife at Work certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council for outstanding natural resource management programs.

The property also picked up another notable preservation award in 2007 because of its historic buildings and cowboy history. The newspaper noted that worn interior walls were kept, including one with signatures of cowboys dating back to the 1880s.

In its sale, the Matador Cattle Company reportedly had nearly 7,000 cow/calf pairs of various breeds at the site. The ranch also had a large variety of wildlife, including wild game, land and waterfowl, large and small mammals, fish, and plant life. There’s also a 28-mile long private trout fishing river on the property.

The ranch began in 1865. 

Wichita, Kansas-based Koch Industries founder Fred Koch bought it in 1951. The Koch family has oil refineries, paper mills, fertilizer plants, and ranches.

Also, the Dillion ranch is about a three-hour drive from the Yellowstone National Park. It also serves as a home to 15 families who work on the ranch.

Murdoch, Wife Wanted A Ranch

According to the Wall Street Journal, Murdoch and his wife, Jerry, hunted for a ranch for a year.

Now that they got it, the couple reportedly will spend a lot of time in Montana. Rupert Murdoch married 65-year-old Jerry Hall in 2016. Jerry Murdoch is a Texas native who was once Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger’s partner for 20 years.  

Murdoch split up his business holdings in 2019, selling 21st Century Fox to Disney for $71 billion.

Over the past few months, the Koch family has worked to sell some of their properties. This particular ranch listed for $124.45 million. Areas around the farm have sold off in pieces to different buyers. 

Outsider.com