This article is about the media company that existed from 1980 to 2013. For the companies split off in 2013, see 21st Century Fox
and News Corp
The original incarnation of News Corporation
(abbreviated News Corp.
) was an American multinational mass media
corporation operated and owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch
and headquartered in New York City. Prior to its split in 2013, it was the world's fourth-largest media group in terms of revenue, and News Corporation had become a media powerhouse since its inception, almost dominating the news, television, film and print industries.
On June 28, 2012, after concerns from shareholders in response to its recent scandals
and to "unlock even greater long-term shareholder value", founder Rupert Murdoch
announced that News Corporation's assets would be split into two publicly traded companies,
one oriented towards media, and the other towards publishing. The corporate spin-off
formally took place on June 28, 2013; where the present News Corp. was renamed 21st Century Fox
and consists primarily of media outlets, while a new News Corp
was formed to take on the publishing and Australian broadcasting assets.
Expansion into the United States
In 1982, News Corp bought a stake of the movie studio 20th Century Fox
, buying the other half in 1984. Also in 1984, News Corp bought Travel Weekly
and other trade magazines from Ziff Davis
In 1985, News Corp announced it was buying the Metromedia
television stations and its syndication arm Metromedia Producers, setting the stage for the launch of a fourth U.S. commercial broadcasting
television network. On September 4, 1985, Murdoch became a naturalized citizen
to satisfy the legal requirement that only United States citizens could own American television stations. In 1986, the Metromedia deal was completed, and the Fox Broadcasting Company
Expansion and consolidation
By 1992, News Corp had gotten huge[clarification needed]
debts, which forced it to sell many of the American magazine interests it had acquired in the mid-1980s to K-III Communications
, as well spinning off long-held Australian magazines interests as Pacific Magazines
. Much of this debt came from its stake in the Sky Television
satellite network in the UK, which incurred massive losses in its early years of operation, which (like many of its business interests) was heavily subsidised with profits from its other holdings until it was able to force
rival satellite operator BSB
to accept a merger on its terms in 1990. (The merged company, BSkyB
, has dominated the British pay-TV market since.)
In 1993, News Corp acquired a 63.6% stake of the Hong Kong-based STAR TV
satellite network for over $500 million, followed by the purchase of the remaining 36.4% in July 1995.
Murdoch declared that:
(Telecommunications) have proved an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere ... satellite broadcasting makes it possible for information-hungry residents of many closed societies to bypass state-controlled television channels.
In 1995, the Fox network became the object of scrutiny from the FCC
when it was alleged that its Australian base made Murdoch's ownership of Fox illegal. The FCC, however, ruled in Murdoch's favor, stating that his ownership of Fox was in the public's best interests. It was also noted that the stations themselves were owned by a separate company whose chief shareholder was a U.S. citizen, Murdoch, although nearly all of the stations' equity was controlled by News Corp. In the same year, News Corporation announced a deal with MCI Communications
to develop a major news website as well as funding a conservative news magazine, The Weekly Standard
. In the same year, News Corp launched the Foxtel
pay television network in Australia in a partnership with Telstra
and Publishing and Broadcasting Limited
. On July 17, 1996, News Corporation acquired New World Communications
(who acquired a stake in 1994) and was completed on January 22, 1997. In October 1996, the Fox Entertainment Group established the Fox News Channel
, a 24-hour Cable News
network to compete against Time Warner
's rival channel CNN
Also mid 1999, The Economist
reported that News Corp paid comparatively lower taxes and Newscorp Investments specifically had made £11.4 billion ($20.1 billion) in profits over the previous 11 years but had not paid net corporation tax. It also reported that after an examination of the available accounts, Newscorp could normally have been expected to pay corporate tax of approximately $350 million. The article explained that in practice, the corporation's complex structure, international scope and use of offshore tax havens
allowed News Corporation to pay minimal[clarification needed]
Development since 2000
In late 2003, News Corp acquired a 34% stake in DirecTV Group
(formerly Hughes Electronics
), operator of the largest American satellite TV system, from General Motors
for US$6 billion. DirecTV was sold to Liberty Media
in 2008 in exchange for its holding in News International.
In 2004, Murdoch set aside $2 billion and handpicked a team of young executives to look at possible ways to use the Web as a distribution platform. That team was composed of four rising stars: Ross Levinsohn, Adam Bain, Travis Katz and Michael Kirby. The four became the backbone of what would become News Corp's digital division, Fox Interactive Media.
Shortly after, in July 2005, News Corporation purchased the social networking website Myspace
for $580 million.
News Corporation had beat out the first incarnation of Viacom
by offering a higher price for the website,
and the purchase was seen as a good investment at the time.
Of the $580 million purchase price, approximately $327 million has been attributed to the value of Myspace according to the financial adviser fairness opinion
Within a year, Myspace had tripled in value from its purchase price.
In February 2007, Murdoch announced at the McGraw-Hill Media Summit that the Fox Entertainment Group would launch a new business news channel later in the year, which would compete directly against rival network CNBC
. Murdoch explained that the channel would be more "business-friendly" than CNBC, because he felt that they "leap on every scandal, or what they think is a scandal."
In July 2007, News Corp. reached a deal to acquire Dow Jones & Company
, owners of The Wall Street Journal
, of $5 billion for.
Despite CNBC already having a contract with Dow Jones to provide content and services to the network, the Fox Entertainment Group officially launched the Fox Business Network
on October 15, 2007. Alexis Glick, the network's original morning show host and vice president of business news, indicated that its lawyers had reviewed the details of Dow Jones' contract with CNBC, but noted that it would still "actively use" other Dow Jones properties.
In September 2009, News Corp established NewsCore, a global wire service set up to provide news stories to all of News Corp's journalistic outlets.
In April 2010, News Corporation sold Bulgarian broadcaster bTV
, which it launched on 1 June 2000, as part of a deal to Central European Media Enterprises
(CME) for $400 million in addition to another $13 million for working capital adjustment. The deal included cable channels bTV Comedy
and Btv Cinema
and News Corporation's 74% stake in Radio Company CJ which included five radio stations.
In September 2010, due to the Fijian government's requirement that the country's media outlet must be 90% owned by Fiji Nationals, News Corporation sold 90% of their stake in their Fijian newspapers (Fiji Times
, Nai Lalakai
, and Shanti Dut
) to Motibhai Group of Companies.
In late February 2011, News Corp officially put the now-struggling Myspace up for sale, which was estimated to be worth $50–200 million.
Losses from the last quarter of 2010 were $156 million, over double of the previous year, which dragged down the otherwise strong results of parent News Corp. Its struggles were attributed to the growth of the competing social network Facebook
The deadline for bids, May 31, 2011, passed without any above the reserve price of $100 million being submitted.
The rapid deterioration in Myspace's business during the most recent quarter had deterred many potent suitors.
Later in June, Specific Media and pop singer Justin Timberlake
bought the site for $35 million, which CNN reported noted was "far less than the $580 million News Corp. paid for Myspace in 2005."
Murdoch went on to call the Myspace purchase a "huge mistake".
On July 13, 2011, Rupert Murdoch announced that the company would withdraw its takeover bid
due to concerns relating to the News of the World
News Corporation already owned, and continues to own, 39.1% of BSkyB.
On June 6, 2012, News Corporation announced that it would buy out ESPN Inc.
's stake in ESPN Star Sports
to gain full control over the Asia-Pacific sports network.
In January 2013, News Corp. attained 54.5% majority control of Sky Deutschland
On February 4, 2013, News Corporation announced the sale of IGN
and its related properties to the publishing company Ziff Davis
. News Corp. had planned to spin-off IGN as an independent company, but failed to do so.
In July 2011, News Corp closed down the News of the World
newspaper in the United Kingdom due to allegations of phone hackings. The allegations include trying to access former Prime Minister Gordon Brown
's voice mail, and obtain information from his bank accounts, family's medical records, and private legal files. Allegations of hacking have also been brought up in relation to former Prime Minister Tony Blair
, and the Royal Family
Other allegations put out by The Guardian
newspaper include the exploitation, with intent to gain access to or use private information, of a list of 4,332 names or partial names, 2,987 mobile phone numbers, 30 audio tapes of varying length and 91 PIN codes, of a kind required to access the voicemail of the minority of targets who change the factory settings on their mobile phones.
The names are said to include those of British victims of September 11, 2001 terror attacks, family members of victims of the "7/7" bombings
on London's transit system, family members of British troops killed overseas, Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old missing British girl who was later found dead, actor Hugh Grant and a lawyer representing the family of Princess Diana's lover at the inquest into her death.
On July 13, 2011, News Corp withdrew its bid to purchase the final 61% stake in BSkyB
after pressure from both the Labour and Conservative Parties in Parliament.
Allegations about the violation of ethical standards by the News Corporation subsidiary News of the World
have been speculatively applied to News Corporation holdings in the United States. Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV) stated on July 12, 2011, that there should be a government investigation into News Corporation "to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated."
His statement was echoed on Wednesday
by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who specifically requested an investigation into 9/11 victims, as well as Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) who encouraged an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
On July 13, 2011, Representative Peter King
(R-NY) wrote a letter to the FBI requesting an investigation into News Corporation's ethical practices, and on July 14, the FBI opened a probe into the hacking of 9/11 victims.
Les Hinton, chief executive of the media group's Dow Jones, resigned on July 15, saying, "I have seen hundreds of news reports of both actual and alleged misconduct during the time I was executive chairman of News International and responsible for the company. The pain caused to innocent people is unimaginable. That I was ignorant of what apparently happened is irrelevant and in the circumstances I feel it is proper for me to resign from News Corp, and apologize to those hurt by the actions of the News of the World."
In 2012, following a BBC Panorama
report, allegations were made that News Corp subsidiary NDS Group
had used hackers to undermine pay TV rivals around the world. Some of the victims of the alleged hacking, such as Austar
, were later taken over by News Corp and others such as Ondigital
later went bust. NDS had originally been set up to provide security to News Corp's pay TV interests but emails obtained by Fairfax Media
revealed they had also pursued a wider agenda by distributing the keys to rival set-top box operators and seeking to obtain phone records of suspected rivals.
The emails were from the hard drive of NDS European chief Ray Adams. In 2012, it was also revealed that Australian Federal police were working with UK police to investigate hacking by News Corp.
Split and 21st Century Fox's eventual sale to Disney
21st Century Fox logo.
On June 28, 2012, Rupert Murdoch announced that, after concerns from shareholders in response to the recent scandals and to "unlock even greater long-term shareholder value", News Corporation's assets would be split into two publicly traded companies, one oriented towards media, and the other towards publishing. News Corp's publishing operations were spun out
into a present-day News Corporation
with Robert James Thomson
, editor of The Wall Street Journal
, as CEO. The present News Corporation, which retains most of its media properties (such as the Fox Entertainment Group
and 20th Century Fox
) and Murdoch as CEO, was renamed 21st Century Fox
. Murdoch remains chairman for both companies.
News Corp's post-split logo, based on Rupert Murdoch's personal handwriting.
Shareholders approved the split on June 11, 2013. On June 19, 2013, preliminary trading for the new News Corp on the Australian Securities Exchange
commenced in preparation for the formal split that was finalized on June 28, 2013. Shareholders received one share of New News Corp for every four shares they owned of the old News Corp. The two new companies began trading on the NASDAQ
on July 1, 2013.
21st Century Fox and most of its businesses were later acquired
by the Walt Disney Company
in 2019; its US broadcast, sports, and news assets were spun-off to Fox Corporation
which would be retained under Murdoch ownership.
- In August 2005, the Murdoch family owned only about 29% of the company of which as of June 2013 had been diluted to around 17%. However, nearly all of these shares were voting shares which currently stand at 39% of the total voting shares, and Rupert Murdoch retained effective control of the company. Nonetheless, John Malone of Liberty Media had built up a large stake, with about half of the shares being voting shares. Therefore, in November 2006, News Corporation announced its intention to transfer its 38.5% interest in DirecTV Group to John Malone's Liberty Media; in return it bought back Liberty's 16.3% stake in News Corp., giving Murdoch tighter control of the latter firm. Murdoch sold 17.5 million class A shares in December 2007.
- Another major stakeholder has been Al-Waleed bin Talal, of the Saudi Royal Family. In 1997, Time reported that Al-Waleed owned about five percent of News Corporation. In 2010, Alwaleed's stake in News Corp. was about 7 percent, amounting to $3 billion. In 2013, News Corp. had a $175 million (19 percent) investment in Al-Waleed's Rotana Group, the Arab world's largest entertainment company. Al-Waleed sold all his shares in November 2017
News Corporation organises an annual management conference, discussing media issues related to geopolitics
. Attendees include News Corporation executives, senior journalists, politicians and celebrities. Previous events were in Cancún
, Mexico, and the Hayman Island
off the coast of Australia. The events are private and secretive, there are no records available for the agenda or talks given at the conferences, and no uninvited journalists are permitted access.
The 2006 event in Pebble Beach
, California was led by Rupert Murdoch
. According to a copy of the agenda leaked to the Los Angeles Times
and other media accounts,
issues discussed related from Europe to broadcasting and new media
, terrorism to the national policy
The event included speeches from Murdoch, Actor and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger
, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair
, Al Gore
, Senator John McCain
and Bill Clinton
while Israel's President, Shimon Peres
, appeared on a panel named "Islam and the West". Other notable attendees included Newt Gingrich
and Nicole Kidman
Around the same time, News Corporation also donated $1 million to the United States Chamber of Commerce
. The Chamber aggressively supported the Republican effort to retake Congress in 2010.
This donation and an earlier $1 million contribution that News Corporation made to the Republican Governor's Association led media critics to question whether the company had crossed an ethical line for a media company.
The company's Board of Directors consisted of 16 individuals at the time of its break up:
Office of the chairman
- Rupert Murdoch (Chairman and CEO)
- Chase Carey (President, Chief Operating Officer & Deputy Chairman)
- David DeVoe (Chief Financial Officer)
- James Murdoch (Deputy Chief Operating Officer; Chairman and CEO, International)
- Daniel Suárez García (Chairman and CEO, Latin America)
List of companies and businesses owned by News Corporation prior to its formal split on June 28, 2013. All media and broadcasting assets, except media assets owned by News Limited
, now belong to The Walt Disney Company
and Fox Corporation
(successors to 21st Century Fox
), its legal successors. Meanwhile, newspapers and other publishing assets, including media assets under News Limited, were spun off
as a new News Corp
- Alpha Magazine
- Australian Country Style
- Australian Golf Digest
- Australian Good Taste
- Big League
- Donna Hay
- Fast Fours
- GQ (Australia)
- Gardening Australia
- InsideOut (Aust)
- Lifestyle Pools
- Live to Ride
- Overlander 4WD
- Modern Boating
- Modern Fishing
- Pure Health
- Super Food Ideas
- Truck Australia
- Truckin' Life
- twowheels scooter
- Vogue (Australia)
- Vogue Entertaining & Travel
- Vogue Living
Inside Out magazine
Music and radio
News Corp agreed to sell eight of its television stations to Oak Hill Capital Partners
for approximately $1.1 billion as of December 22, 2007. The stations are US Fox
These stations, along with those already acquired by Oak Hill that were formerly owned by The New York Times Company
, formed the nucleus of Oak Hill's Local TV LLC
- BSkyB, United Kingdom & Ireland (39.1% holding). In practice, a controlling interest.
- Sky Network Television, New Zealand (44%)
- Sky Italia (100%), Italy's largest pay TV service (previously owning part of Stream TV)
- Sky Deutschland (54.5%), Germany's largest pay TV provider
- Tata Sky (30%), an Indian DirectToHome TeleVision Service Provider. (in partnership with Tata Group (70%))
- Foxtel (25%), Australia, a joint venture with Telstra (50%) and Consolidated Media Holdings (25%)
- FOX Italy, Italian Broadcast and Production Company (with 2 HDTV)
- Star TV Channels (Satellite TeleVision Asian Region), an Asian satellite TV service having 300 million viewers in 53 countries, mainly in India, China & other Asian countries
- Phoenix Television (17.6%), satellite TV network with landing rights in Hong Kong, and select provinces on Mainland China.
Cable TV channels owned (in whole or part) and operated by News Corporation include:
- Fox Business Network, a business news channel.
- Fox Classics, a channel airing classic TV shows and movies
- Fox Movie Channel, an all-movie channel that airs commercial-free movies from 20th Century Fox's film library
- Fox News Channel, a 24-hour news and opinion channel
- Fox Sports Networks, a chain of US regional cable news television networks broadcasting local sporting events linked together by national sports news programming. Local channels include "Fox Sports Southwest", "Fox Sports Detroit", etc. (some affiliates are owned by Cablevision.)
- Fox College Sports, a college sports network consisting of three regionally aligned channels, mostly with archived Fox Sports Net programmes but also some live and original content.
- Fox Sports International
- Fox Soccer Channel, a United States digital cable and satellite network specialising mainly in soccer.
- Fox Soccer Plus, a sister network to FSC, but including coverage of other sports, most notably rugby. Launched in 2010 after News Corporation picked up many of the broadcast rights abandoned by Setanta Sports when it stopped broadcasting in the U.S.
- Fox Pan American Sports (37.9%) – joint venture with Hicks, Muse, and Tate & Furst.
- FX Networks, a cable network broadcasting reruns of programming previously shown on other channels, but recently creating its own programming, including the Emmy Award-winning programmes The Shield and Damages.
- FUEL TV
- Big Ten Network, cable and satellite channel dedicated to The Big Ten Conference, launched August 2007 (49%)
- National Geographic Channel (joint venture with National Geographic Society) 67%
- National Geographic Channel International 75%
- Nat Geo Mundo (joint venture with National Geographic Society)
- Nat Geo Wild (joint venture with National Geographic Society)
- YES Network (49%), regional cable sports network; broadcasts New York Yankees and Brooklyn Nets games, among other teams.
- Fox International Channels, domestic cable channels offering different formats of Fox programming in over thirty countries worldwide.
- Central & South America
- Fox Latin American Channels – channels available in over 17 countries in Latin America
- LAPTV (60%) (Latin American Pay Television) operates 8 cable movie channels throughout South America excluding Brazil.
- Telecine (12.5%) operates 5 cable movie channels in Brazil.
Hathway Cable & Datacom (22.2%), India's 2nd largest cable network through 7 cities including Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai & Pune
Total TV (20%), a pay TV platform with JV partner KOO's Group majority owner (80%). News Corp also has a 20% interest in the KOO's Group directly.
- News Corp. Digital Media
- Foxsports.com – website with sports news, scores, statistics, video and fantasy sports
- Hulu (27%) – online video streaming site in partnership with NBCUniversal and Disney.
- Flektor – provides Web-based tools for photo and video editing and mashups.
- Slingshot Labs – web development incubator (Includes the sites DailyFill).
- Strategic Data Corp – interactive advertising company which develops technology to deliver targeted internet advertising.
- WhatIfSports.com – sports simulation and prediction website. Also provides fantasy-style sports games to play.
- Indya.com – 'India's no. 1 Entertainment Portal'
- ROO Group Inc (5% increasing to 10% with performance targets)
- News Digital Media
- Move, Inc (80%)
- realtor.com – United States online real estate portal with up to date and accurate listings
- Top Producer
- REA Group (60.7%)
- TadpoleNet Media (10%) Hosts of ArmySailor.com
- New Zealand
- Fatso – leading online DVD subscription service (ownership through stake in Sky Network Television).
- Fox Networks – one of the largest international ad networks.
- Expedient InfoMedia blog network.
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Last edited on 6 May 2021, at 17:52
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