The reclusive 77-year-old twin Barclay brothers, who also own the Ritz hotel in London and the Littlewoods mail order business, have amassed a £2.25bn fortune and top this year's media powerbrokers list, to be published this weekend.
Northern and Shell and Channel 5 owner, Richard Desmond, is ranked as the second wealthiest media mogul, with estimated wealth of a cool one billion pounds.
However, notably absent from the top tiers are both Alexander and Evgeny Lebedev, owners of The Independent and the London Evening Standard.
A spokesperson for The Rich List explained it is not an exact science. Those in the rankings are either known to have been born in the UK, lived in the UK for a significant period of time or have made their wealth in the UK.
WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell, 67, is identified as Britain's wealthiest advertising mogul with a fortune of £174m, up from £148m last year. Sorrell, who has built WPP into the world’s largest marketing services group, has a stake in the company worth £156m.
This year's list follows reports Sorrell saw his £1m annual salary rise by approximately 25% in the last year.
Neil Hutchinson, aged 34, who founded the London-based online advertising business TrafficBroker, now Forward, has seen his fortune more than double in the past year from £59m to £123m.
London-based Cristina Stenbeck, 34, who was born and raised in New York, is the wealthiest woman among Britain’s richest publishers, with a £369m fortune.
Stenbeck became steward of the family's interests at the Swedish-based Investment AB Kinnevik media and telecoms group after the sudden death of her father in 2002. The company is best known for its stable of Metro free newspapers, which does not include Metro UK.
The 24th annual Sunday Times Rich List has been Compiled by Philip Beresford and edited by Ian Coxon. It will be published as a 104-page magazine, featuring profiles the 1,000 richest people and families in the UK and the 250 wealthiest in the Ireland.
Follow Arif Durrani on Twitter @DurraniMix
|The Sunday Times Rich List 2012: The richest in publishing and advertising|
|Rank||Name||2012 wealth||2011 wealth|
|1||Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay||£2,250m||£2,200m|
|3||Viscount Rothermere and family||£760m||£730m|
|4||The Thomson family||£700m||£660m|
|6=||Viscount Cowdray and the Pearson family||£500m||£1,015m|
|9||Mark Getty and family||£330m||£330m|
|11||Lord Iliffe and family||£266m||£240m|
|12||Sir Martin Sorrell||£174m||£148m|
|14||Philip and Patricia Brown||£132m||£132m|
|15||Lord and Charles Saatchi||£130m||£125m|
|16||Sir Ray Tindle||£125m||£145m|
|18||Nick Forman Hardy and family||£102m||£102m|
|20||Gregory Nasmyth and family||£85m||£68m|