Harold Jonathan Esmond Vere Harmsworth, 4th Viscount Rothermere, was born with ink in his veins.
Every holder of the baronetcy for nearly a century has served as chairman of the DMGT group, the owner of Britain's Daily Mail.
His own newspaper career began at the Kent and Sussex Courier in Tunbridge Wells, before a move to the more glamorous International Herald Tribune in Paris.
From there he went to the Mirror Group in Scotland, then held various positions at Associated Newspapers, a DMGT subsidiary, including a stint as managing director of London's Evening Standard, before the death of his father led to his becoming chairman of the group just before his 31st birthday.
Nearly 15 years later, and DMGT is in surprisingly rude health, despite all the predictions of the death of journalism, some of them written by his own staff.
The Daily Mail retains a key position of influence and sales. The Mail on Sundaypicked up 100,000 readers after the closure of the disgraced News of the World, while the group's trade financial publishing and conferences arm Euromoney continues to flourish regardless of the travails in the banking sector.
A large part of the group's profits come from its exhibition business, particularly in the Middle East. Last but not least, the group owns 7 Days, a punchy tabloid daily based in Dubai. He spoke to The National on the eve of a visit to Abu Dhabi to host a week of meetings for his senior executives to discuss the group's strategy.
Q: What is the purpose of the visit?
A: One of the things we want to do as a company is expand internationally. We think the Emirates is the gateway to the Middle East. We are bringing the leaders of our various businesses to talk to academics and people who do business in the Middle East to enhance our understanding of what the opportunities are. We like the Emirates. We find the business environment excellent and we have a global growth strategy and have combined these two elements together.
Q: The Arab Spring. Do you see it as a threat or an opportunity?
A: I see the whole of the Middle East as an opportunity to do business. The demographics are excellent, and I feel that it's a part of the world that is going to grow exponentially and will become more influential. And the Emirates will be the centre of that renaissance.
Q: Do you also see it as a hub for other parts of the world, especially India?
A: Absolutely. We believe it is the staging post for India. We want to expand our exhibitions from the Emirates to India and we have already launched into Saudi Arabia.
Q: Do you still have a newspaper in India?
A: We are restricted by ownership regulations on what we can have, but we have a share in Mail Today, which is in Delhi.
Q: How is that doing?
A: It started very well, was knocked back by the crisis in 2008 but is now back on track. We are expanding print run and looking to expand into other cities in India over the next few years. We are also going to launch an Indian version of MailOnline.
Q: Did the success of MailOnline take you by surprise?
A: The international success took us by surprise, but we would be disappointed if it hadn't been successful in the UK, although we are very happy with it and it is beyond our expectations. Why have we been successful? Our company believes in quality of products and journalism that makes those products. We came to the internet with a clear view that we weren't going to let the medium dictate the journalism.
Q: You will stay with the free model for the time being?
A: I believe in the free model, but it's a scale thing. If you have scale, free works. I wouldn't rule out over time that we might start charging for parts of the site, but at the moment, our strategy is free. We keep experimenting.That's one of the great things about the internet - you can keep experimenting without losing very much. We will put more resources into the US and India. We want to be the biggest English-speaking news site in the world.
Q: Where are you now?
A: We are behind The New York Times on global ranking and we would like to match them within a year or so. We would like to come up close to MSN-Yahoo News, which is quite a lot bigger than us.
Q: Is MailOnline profitable yet?
A: It would be profitable if we wanted it to be, but that's not what we want to do. We are putting more resources into it because we think the opportunity is truly magnificent. We are used to putting significant resources behind a dream. We think this business is growing quickly enough to substantiate the investment.
Q: How much is the investment on an annual basis?
A: Last year, we invested about £10 million [Dh58m], but we invested less this year because the revenue is growing so fast. We are not shooting for break-even, we are shooting for growth.
Q: After the News of the World was shut down, there was talk you might launch your own Sunday version. What has happened there?
A: We looked at it, we produced some exciting dummies, but we decided that our main opportunity lies with TheMail on Sunday. We wanted to increase the circulation of that paper. We have kept about 100,000 new readers. We hope those new readers will stick with us.
Q: What effect will the Leveson inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press and the hacking scandal have on British journalism?
A: I don't really know, to be honest with you. But I feel very strongly that freedom of speech is a very, very important part of our democracy and is not to be trifled away because of the actions of a few. I hope that whatever conclusions the Leveson inquiry comes to will note that journalism is a difficult trade, but it's vital.
Q: Do you think self-regulation works?
A: We think self-regulation is the way to go. But it must be said that the PCC [Press Complaints Commission] was never set up to investigate criminality. That was not its job; that's the job of the police. I'm very passionate about journalism and freedom of speech. I'm also very passionate about the opportunity for DMGT to expand.
Q: Are there other regions of the world you are looking to expand into?
A: Yes. India, South America, South East Asia and China. Everywhere. Obviously it's easier in India because there are more English speakers than America and Britain combined. We want to expand our B2B businesses globally and the Daily Mail, we know what we're about. I am very excited about coming out to Emirates again, it's a very exciting region.