Subscribe

National Geographic sells majority of media to 21st Century Fox

National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox made a $725 million deal that gives the Rupert Murdoch family's company a majority stake in National Geographic magazine and other media properties.

  • close
    In this March 11, 2014 file photo, News Corp. Exeuctive Chairman Rupert Murdoch, center, and his sons, Lachlan, left, and James Murdoch attend the 2014 Television Academy Hall of Fame in Beverly Hills, Calif. National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox made a $725 million deal that gives Rupert Murdoch family's company a majority stake in National Geographic magazine and other media properties.
    Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP/File
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

The 127-year-old nonprofit National Geographic Society has struck a $725 million deal that gives 21st Century Fox a majority stake in National Geographic magazine and other media properties, expanding an existing TV partnership.

The agreement announced Wednesday will give the company controlled by Rupert Murdoch's family a 73 percent stake in the new National Geographic Partners venture. The society retains 27 percent ownership. The move shifts the longtime nonprofit flagship magazine into a for-profit venture.

The arrangement brings together National Geographic's magazine with its cable channels and other media businesses. National Geographic originally partnered with Fox in 1997 to launch the National Geographic Channel. Officials said aligning the various media brands will help fuel future growth.

Recommended: Top 10 highest-paid celebrities in 2015

"This expanded partnership, bringing together all of the media and consumer activities under the National Geographic umbrella ... creates vast opportunities and enables this business to be even more successful in a digital environment," said James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox, in announcing the deal.

The new venture will be governed by a board with equal representation from Fox and National Geographic. Declan Moore, a 20-year veteran of the society, will be CEO of National Geographic Partners.

Spokeswoman MJ Jacobsen said National Geographic essentially retains editorial control with the same leadership team and editors, and the media ventures will continue to be based at National Geographic's headquarters in Washington.

Gary Knell, the president and CEO of the National Geographic Society, said the new venture would deliver an ongoing revenue stream to help fund grants and programs that support science and research worldwide. The transaction also increases the society's endowment to nearly $1 billion. Knell will be the first board chairman of the new venture.

"Certainly we are going to be able to fund more science, education, research in the field," Jacobsen said. "That's great news for scientists in the field.

"The editor of the magazine is very happy because it's going to be more money for storytelling. It's really not a secret that media is stretched and pulled and disrupted today," she said.

The nonprofit society will retain its National Geographic Museum in Washington and plans to double its investment in science, research and education programs. Future plans call for a new education center devoted to improving geographic skills of high school students and the creation of centers of excellence in cartography, journalism and photography.

Another nonprofit media outlet, Sesame Workshop, recently announced "Sesame Street" would partner with HBO to give the children's programming a second home on the premium cable channel.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK