News Corporation describes itself as "a constellation of media businesses, News Corporation's global operations encompass the fields of filmed entertainment, newspapers, pay and free-to-air television, cable network programming, book publishing, magazines and consumer marketing." 
- 1 Mission Statement
- 2 Overview
- 3 Market share and importance
- 4 History and strategy
- 5 Corporate Entities
- 6 Featured speakers
- 7 Principals, officers and board members
- 8 Contact details
- 9 Resources
- 10 References
"Just as our assets span the world, our vision spans art and humor, audacity and compassion, information and innovation - whether in an American television series, an Indian game show, an Australian newspaper, an English sports broadcast or an international box-office hit," the company website states.
"Every day, hundreds of millions of people are entertained and enlightened by the authors and actors, printers and producers, reporters and directors who fulfill our mission. That mission remains unchanged after half a century of expansion and improvement: the creation and distribution of top-quality news, sports and entertainment around the world," it states. Industry Area
Describes itself as a 'constellation of media businesses'.i These include the production and distribution of motion pictures and television programming; television, satellite and cable broadcasting; the publication of newspapers, magazines and books; the production and distribution of promotional and advertising products and services; and the development of digital broadcasting. News Corporation also has a few miscellaneous business interests, including a few major sports teams.
For a full list see: www.cjr.org/tools/owners/newscorp.asp.
The story of News Corporation is equally the story of its CEO and founder, the Australian-born Rupert Murdoch. News Corporation is Murdoch's life, and he runs it with a passionate interest. Richard Searby, Murdoch's school friend and later a director of the company, said: 'Most boards meet to make decisions. News Corp's board meets to ratify Murdoch's.'1
He visits all of his major operations on a regular basis and continues to find synergies between them. Any of his businesses may play a part in supporting his own or News Corporation's political or commercial influence. Murdoch systematically trades his newspapers' and TV news channels' editorial bias for political favours, indeed:
- 'most of the critical steps in the transformation of News Limited, the business he inherited, into present day Newscorp were dependent on such things'2
- - Bruce Page in 'How Rupert took on the world'
By carefully cultivating relationships with national governments he has bought ever more influence throughout the English-speaking world and beyond. By doing so he has, time and again, been able to break down or sidestep media legislation intended to prevent the emergence of media barons such as himself. Ultimately in spite of his evident right wing leanings, he is a political pragmatist who
- 'moves effortlessly between Republicans and Democrats, Tories and Labourites, capitalists and communists, depending on what deals are cooking'.3
- - Russ Baker in the Colombia Journalism Review
Perhaps because of Murdoch's dominance over News Corp, the company tends to make long term, often risky, investments that many boards of directors might balk at. News Corp will use whatever means are necessary to force its way into a marketplace, and will run TV its companies at a loss for years in order to build up the all important market share and eventual profitability. News Corp has operated with the riskiest possible financing, narrowly avoiding collapse in 1990 and has continued to expand (mostly by acquisition). Its aggressive business tactics are legendary, and it shows no mercy to its rivals. Its financial structure has developed into a labyrinth of holding companies, many in offshore tax havens enabling it to pay astoundingly low taxes.
News Corporation is one of the world's largest media companies with total assets, as of December 31, 2003 of approximately US$52bn and total annual revenues of approximately US$19bn.ii
According to its website:4
- 'News Corporation is the world's leading publisher of English-language newspapers, with operations in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the US. The Company publishes more than 175 different newspapers, employing approximately 15,000 people worldwide and printing more than 40 million papers a week'
In the television and film industries, News Corp owns both a large number of content providers (such as Fox Television in the US) and also extensive distribution networks (BskyB in Europe, and Star TV in Asia, Fox Cable in the US)
In total the group comprises around 800 companies around the world, with many holding companies based in offshore tax havens.5
History and strategy
Murdoch obtained his first newspaper, 'The Adelaide News', by inheritance on the death of his father in 1952. He was then still an undergraduate at Worcester College, University of Oxford. In 1953 he returned to Australia and assumed control of the paper, rapidly improving its fortunes. By the end of the decade he had acquired a News South Wales-based newspaper chain, Cumberland Newspapers, the Sydney 'Daily Mirror' and Melbourne and Brisbane's 'Truth'. 1964 saw him buy a stake in Wellington Publishing, New Zealand's largest media company.
He arrived in the UK in the late '60s, beating arch-rival Robert Maxwell to the 'News of the World' (1968) and 'The Sun' (1969). Then in 1973 he entered the US market place, taking the 'San Antonio Express News', following up three years later with the 'New York Post', the 'Village Voice' and 'New York Magazine'. A string of further titles were acquired or bought during the 70s in the US and Australia and in 1980 he established News Corporation as a global holding company.
In 1981 News Corp bought 'The Times' and 'The Sunday Times' from the Thomson Group. A sympathetic Thatcher government allowed him to exploit a monopolies law loophole to buy the papers. The 1980s brought more landmarks: Murdoch taking Amercan citizenship, and acquiring 20th Century Fox (1985); buying the 'South China Morning Post' and Harper & Row publishers (1987); the launch of Sky (1989).
By 1990 News Corp was in deep financial trouble with vast debts. Insolvency was narrowly avoided by a matter of hours, but still the media empire went on with its continual expansion buying: £300m broadcasting rights to the Premier League (1992); Asian satellite broadcaster, Star Television (1993); LA Dodgers baseball team (1997); 10 further US TV stations (2000). More recently News Corp has gained a foothold in mainland Europe: in settling the law suit filed against subsidiary NDS, News Corp bought a share in Italian network Telepiu (2002) which was then renamed Sky Italia (2003)
For a more detailed time line of News Corporation and Murdoch, see: www.ketupa.net/murdoch2.htm
Bias and Misrepresentation
A year-long study released in October 2003 showed that Americans who relied on the Fox News Channel for their coverage of the Iraq war were the most likely to believe misinformation about the war, whatever their political affiliation may be. Those mistaken facts, the study found, increased viewers' support for the war. Note that these beliefs were not simply biased, they were based on provably incorrect facts.
A comprehensive timetable on the evolution of News Corporation is available at http://www.ketupa.net/murdoch2.htm.
A detailed listed of News Corporation business interests - up to date to early 2003 - is at http://www.ketupa.net/murdoch1.htm
Fox Consumer Products, Fox Interactive, Fox Studios Australia, Fox Television Studios, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp., Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Licensing And Merchandising, Twentieth Century Fox Television
British Sky Broadcasting Ltd, FOX Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, FOXSports.com, Fox Television Stations, Inc., FOXTEL, News Corporation Limited Japan, Sky Latin America (SKY Brasil Serviços Ltda., Innova, Sky Multi Country), SKY PerfecTV!, STAR (Channel [V], ESPN STAR Sports, National Geographic Channel Asia, Phoenix Satellite Television Holdings Ltd.), Twentieth Television
Cable Network Programming
Fox News Channel, Fox Cable Networks Group (Fox Sports Net, FX Networks)
Magazines and Inserts
News America Marketing, Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc., the Weekly Standard
NDS Group PLC, Chinabyte.com, News Interactive On December 22, 2003 News Corporation finalised a $US6billion bid to take a controlling stake in Hughes Electronics and its US pay TV operation, DirecTV. "Now, with the addition of DirecTV, Murdoch has the last piece in a global distribution system that is unparalleled - and he will be rolling out a swag of new channels to run on that system. If you are a content company like Viacom, Disney or Time Warner, at some point in the future you will depend upon Murdoch to run your programs around the world," Chenoweth wrote. 
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- Jose Maria Aznar (also board member)
- Tony Blair – British Prime Minister
- Bill Clinton – former US president
- John McCain – US Senator
- Al Gore – former US Vice President
Principals, officers and board members
- K. Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation
- Geoffrey C. Bible, Chairman, Wagga Enterprise
- Chase Carey, Non-Executive Director, News Corporation
- Peter Chernin, President and Chief Operating Officer, News Corporation
- Kenneth E. Cowley, Chairman, Independent Newspapers Limited
- David F. DeVoe, Chief Financial Officer, News Corporation
- Rod Eddington, Chief Executive, British Airways
- Juho Aatos Michel Erkko, Chairman, SanomaWSOY Corporation
- Andrew S.B. Knight, Director, Rothschild Investment Trust C.P.
- James Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, STAR Group
- Lachlan Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, News Corporation
- Thomas J. Perkins, Partner, Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers
- Stanley S. Shuman, Executive Vice President & Managing Director,Allen & Company, Inc.
- Arthur M. Siskind, Group General Counsel, News Corporation
- Viet Dinh, a professor of law at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.
- Peter Barnes, former president of Philip Morris Asia
Public Relations staff and consultants
- Greg Baxter, Director, Corporate Affairs
O'Dwyers PR Daily reported that in March 2005 News Corporation disclosed in its federal filing that it had hired the Glover Park Group for "advocacy & image advertising, media relations, issues & crisis management and research". 
- News Corporation: Who, Where, How Much?
- News Corporation: Influence / Lobbying
- News Corporation: Corporate Crimes
- News Corporation: What you can do
1'IMUSA Campaigns.' See: www.imusa.org/campaigns/murdoch/murdoch02.shtml. Viewed: 15.04.04.
2'How Rupert took on the world,' Bruce Page, The Observer, 24.08.03. See: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,1028189,00.html. Viewed: 15.04.04
3'Murdoch's Mean Machine,' Russ Baker, Colombia Journalism Review, May/June 1998. See: www.russbaker.com/CJR%20-%20Murdoch's%20Mean%20Machine,%20by%20Russ%20Baker.htm. Viewed: 15.04.04
4'Newspapers.' See: www.newscorp.com/operations/newspapers.html. Viewed: 20.04.04
5'Rupert Laid Bare,' Alex Peterson, The Economist, 20.03.99. See: www.vision.net.au/~apaterson/politics/economist_murdoch.htm. Viewed: 06.04.04
6'How Rupert took on the world,' Bruce Page, The Observer, 24.08.03. See: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,6903,1028189,00.html. Viewed: 15.04.04
- Neil Chenoweth, "Malone, Murdoch's new best friend, Australian Financial Review, January 27, 2004.
- Neil Chenoweth, "The man the Murdoch children fear", Australian Financial Review, January 31, 2004.
- Neil Chenoweth and Sean Aylmer, "Malone loosens Murdoch's grip on News", Australian Financial Review, January 23, 2004.
- Geraldine Fabrikant, "News Corp. Plans to Follow Its Chief to the United States," New York Times, April 7, 2004: "Rupert Murdoch, who gave up his Australian citizenship 19 years ago to become a United States citizen, plans something similar for the News Corporation, the media empire his family controls. ... The company, whose holdings include The New York Post and the 20th Century Fox movie studio, will reincorporate in the United States, where it earns about 75 percent of its revenue and profit. News Corporation hopes the move, which includes shifting its primary stock listing to the New York Stock Exchange from the Australian exchange, will lure a wider investor base and give it access to lower-cost capital."
- Edward Jay Epstein, "Rupert Murdoch Strikes Back: His bold plan to give away 20 million digital video recorders", Slate, June 14, 2005.
- Seth Sutel, "News Corp. starts Internet unit", San Diego Union Tribune, July 15, 2005. (This is an Associated Press story).
- Jim Snyder, "NewsCorp. marshals Lobbyists", The Hill, August 10, 2005.
- Tony Walker and Colleen Ryan, "Murdoch's long march hits Chinese wall", Australian Financial Review, August 25, 2005.
- ^Aline van Duyn and Mark Mulligan, "Former Spanish premier joins News Corp board", Financial Times, 22 June 2006, page 10.