News Corp., Murdoch's multi-media empire

7th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

News Corp., which is shutting down the News of the World tabloid on Sunday following a phone-hacking scandal, is a global media and entertainment empire built by its founder, Rupert Murdoch.

An Australian who became a US citizen in 1985 to expand his newspaper and television holdings in the United States, Murdoch started in the newspaper business in the early 1950s after inheriting The Adelaide News from his father.

By the 1960s, the hard-charging businessman was taking on the British press.

His conquests in Britain include The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times, and the News of the World, Britain's biggest-selling Sunday newspaper.

The announcement of the shuttering of the News of the World was made by James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch's youngest son, who was named News Corp.'s deputy chief operating office in March.

While James Murdoch appears to be the heir apparent to his 80-year-old father, Rupert Murdoch, News Corp.'s chairman and chief executive officer, has shown no signs of slowing down or handing over control of his company anytime soon.

Besides its British newspapers, News Corp. also owns The Australian and other papers in Murdoch's native Australia and the New York Post.

In his biggest coup, Rupert Murdoch in 2007 won a hard-fought proxy battle for Dow Jones & Co. and its prize asset, The Wall Street Journal, in a $5.6 billion deal that redrew the US media landscape.

While newspapers are Murdoch's passion, he has branched out over the years into television and movies.

In the United States, News Corp. owns the 24-hour Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network while in Asia it controls the STAR network.

News Corp. is a major player in satellite-broadcasting in Europe with Sky Italia but Murdoch's bid for pay-TV giant BSkyB has reportedly been delayed until September by the phone-hacking scandal.

News Corp. is seeking to buy the 61 percent of BSkyB which it does not already own. BSkyB is powerful media player which holds most of the rights to English Premier League football.

In March, the British government cleared the way to approve News Corp's bid, but only after it agreed to spin off its Sky News operation to address competition concerns.

News Corp. also owns Hollywood film studio 20th Century Fox, producer of such global blockbusters as the "Star Wars" series, "Titanic" and "Avatar."

In July 2005, Murdoch ventured into cyberspace, buying social network Myspace for $580 million.

Myspace, however, was quickly eclipsed by Facebook and News Corp. unloaded the ailing social network last week for just $35 million.

News Corp. also owns book publisher HarperCollins and is a partner with Disney, and NBC Universal in the online video site Hulu.

In May, News Corp. reported a net profit for its fiscal third-quarter of $682 million on revenue of $8.26 billion.

© 2011 AFP

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