56. John Malone
The cable tycoon’s Liberty Media, which owns MLB’S Atlanta Braves, closed a $4.4 billion acquisition of auto-racing league Formula 1 in January. Six months later, his Discovery Communications announced an $11.9 billion bid for cable-tv giant Scripps Networks, which will bring HGTV and Food Network under the same roof as Animal Planet. Just weeks earlier, the Connecticut native merged home shopping channels QVC and HSN through his media conglomerate Liberty Interactive. The PH.D. in operations research is now reportedly interested in acquiring Spanish-language broadcaster Univision and wireless carrier Sprint.