Xvii) News Corporation

Over the years, Rupert Murdoch (who started in newspapers and now, in his 80s, controls a global media empire worth around US$ 80 million) has continually tried to re-invent his media empire (News Ltd) since first taking over the News newspaper in Adelaide, South Australia in 1953. For example,

- in 1964 launches the Australian-wide newspaper (The Australian)

- in 1969 goes international by buying newspapers (The News of the World and The Sun) in the United Kingdom; later on in 1981 he buys The Times

- in 1976 ventures into America by buying the New York Post

- in 1985 buys 20th Century Fox

- in 1988 launches Sky (now BSkyB)

- in 1990 News Corporation almost sinks under debt

- in 1996 launches Fox News Channel

- in 2000 invests in realestatecom.au (now REA Group)

- in 2005 his eldest son Lachlan quits News Corp

- in 2007 buys Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal

- in 2008 in the Boyer lectures in Australia he talks about the threat to his media empire of the digital revolution, especially the rise of e-media

- in 2009 Chase Carey returns to News Corp as COO and since then share prices have increased around 2.5 times. He focused on the expansion of the cable TV business (generates around a 1/3 of the group's earnings before interest and tax) and started a US$ 10 billion share buyback. He replaced Peter Chernin who was concerned about the future of the newspaper business, especially the Dow Jones acquisition. The print newspapers have declined in financial importance in the global media and entertainment conglomerate. This is despite transforming the newspapers from relying on advertising revenue to more reliance on subscription revenues; the latter are comparatively more stable and not as susceptible to the business/financial/economic cycle.

"... News Corporation has essentially become a cable TV powerhouse with legacy newspaper, book, film and broadcast TV assets. Newspaper and book publishing...... information services account for only 9% of the group's earnings..."

Ben Holgate, 2013

- in 2011 News Corp buys Rupert's daughter's (Elizabeth) Shine organisation for $US 480 million; closes News of the World amid phone hacking scandal

- in 2013 News Corporation splits into 2 separate companies. This de-merger is to unlock value of the high-growth businesses around 21st century Fox and spin off the low growth assets into the new News Corporation with the aim of transferring printed newspapers into profitable digital products

- the impact of the phone hacking scandal (UK) is still working its way though the corporation

 

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