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Murdoch's Fox takes control of National Geographic Society for US$ 725m

Friday, September 11th 2015 - 10:24 UTC
Full article 4 comments
The society will still control 27% of the media operation, which has been renamed National Geographic Partners. The society will still control 27% of the media operation, which has been renamed National Geographic Partners.
Based in Washington, the partnership will include National Geographic-branded cable channels, digital properties and the magazine proper. Based in Washington, the partnership will include National Geographic-branded cable channels, digital properties and the magazine proper.
In the 1980s, the magazine had a circulation of 12 million whereas now about 3.5 million people subscribe in US and 3 million subscribe to non-English versions. In the 1980s, the magazine had a circulation of 12 million whereas now about 3.5 million people subscribe in US and 3 million subscribe to non-English versions.

The National Geographic Society sold its iconic yellow-bordered magazine and other media assets to Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox for $725 million, the companies announced Wednesday. National Geographic Society, which found the magazine in 1888, has chosen to sell the publication amid slumping circulation and advertising sales.

 The society will still control 27% of the media operation, which has been renamed National Geographic Partners. Based in Washington, the partnership will include National Geographic-branded cable channels, digital properties and the magazine proper.

Fox has partnered with the magazine's makers before when in 1997 the duo launched the National Geographic cable TV channel and other smaller channels. These have represented a steady source of income with operating profits of more than $400 million in 2014.

But the society's print products haven't had the same success. In the late 1980s, the magazine had a circulation of 12 million whereas now about 3.5 million people subscribe to the magazine in the United States and an additional 3 million subscribe to non-English versions.

Magazine staffers have been wary about the partnership because of the apparently competing mindset of the staffers and new stakeholders, The Washington Post reported. The typically highbrow writing of the magazine could be seen as being at odds with content in Fox-produced television shows like Doomsday Preppers and Banged up Abroad.

The magazine's editor in chief, Susan Goldberg, said Fox acknowledged its occasional misrepresentation of the magazine's image but said the resources provided by the company will be invaluable. Fox's chief executive and Murdoch's youngest son, James Murdoch, met with staffers on Wednesday and expressed his appreciation for the magazine and plans to modify it.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • Mendoza Canadian

    Slumping circulation....pity. Indicative of the current generations foolhardiness and the education system. My aunt had a subscription I NatGeo for years and she kept every single one of them. I loved to go and read them every month. One of the things I looked forward to with delight. Sad state of affairs.

    Sep 11th, 2015 - 12:54 pm 0
  • Captain Poppy

    I loved it too. It will be interesting to see how the Nat Geo becomes a tabloid!

    HEADLINES:
    Archaeologist discover evidence that Homo Sapiens were Homo Sexuals!!

    Read stunning text unearthed in the Middle East.......Mohammed came to earth via a flying saucer!

    With Murdoch......Nat Geo is done.....just bury it.

    Sep 11th, 2015 - 01:05 pm 0
  • ChrisR

    I had a subscription to NG for many years and it was only an error by the subscription department that stopped it.

    Best photographers on the planet.

    Murdoch will of course completely ruin it.

    Sep 11th, 2015 - 06:29 pm 0
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