Rupert Murdoch becomes chairman emeritus of the companies, effective in November.
Senior executives from Fox Corp. and Fox Television Stations will share insights into how they’ve been modernizing and securing the companies’ broadcast infrastructure during a session at TVNewsCheck’s Cybersecurity for Broadcasters Retreat, set for Oct. 26 at NAB Show New York.
Technology executives from Fox Corp., Hearst Television, CBC, Sony and Florical told a TVNewsCheck webinar last week that the lack of a “trigger point” and a shortage of personnel experts in managing IT infrastructures are among the factors slowing down the pace of the industry’s IP transition.
Regulators invited public comment on whether the U.S. broadcast license for Fox Corp.’s TV station in Philadelphia should be renewed after a grassroots organization asked that it be denied, saying Fox knowingly broadcast false news about the 2020 election.
Alfred Sikes is the latest figure to urge the commission to study whether Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch meet the character qualification to remain broadcast licensees.
Fox Corp. is parting ways with one of its key strategic and business leaders, Viet Dinh, a longtime consiglieri in the Murdoch empire. Dinh is leaving his post as chief legal and policy officer on Dec. 31 and will become a “special advisor” to the company, Fox said in a press release.
CEO Lachlan Murdoch: “In this year’s upfront we believe Fox led the market in both price and volume across our live sports and news offerings,” he said. And he said he’s optimistic about the current quarter. “While it is early in the quarter, underlying ad trends have shown signs of improvement over last quarter. We are seeing an uptick in scatter, driven largely by sports, and national news is solid,”
Fox Corp. revenue stayed flat in the quarter ending June 30 compared with the year-earlier period, but it matched Wall Street analysts’ consensus estimate as earnings beat expectations. Earnings came in at 74 cents a share in the quarter ending June 30, topping analysts’ target of 72 cents and rising from 55 cents in the year-ago period. The revenue figure stayed flat with the 2022 quarter. Affiliate fee revenue climbed 3% from a year ago, paced by a 9% upswing in the TV division.
Fox Corp. and Flutter Entertainment Plc plan to wind down their Fox Bet online wagering business starting on Aug. 1, according to people familiar with the plans. Flutter, parent of the competing betting service FanDuel, will keep the customer database and market-access agreements associated with the business, said the people, who asked not be identified since the decision hasn’t been announced. An announcement could come today.
His promotion follows the departure of Mike Biard, who is moving to be Nexstar’s president-COO.
Executives from Fox Corp., Hearst Television, CBC, Sony Electronics and Florical Systems will question the viability of continuing to invest in on-prem hardware given the cloud’s capacious flexibility in a TVNewsCheck Working Lunch Webinar on Aug. 17 at 1 p.m. ET. Register here.
Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch undermined trust in American democracy with their reckless propagation of Trump’s Big Lie, but Fox’s O&Os shouldn’t be in the FCC’s crosshairs to pay for it, as a watchdog group would have it.
Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall downgraded Fox Corp. stock to “underweight” from “equal weight” as lower ratings at Fox News Channel and cord-cutting threaten to depress earnings. Cahall lowered his target price for Fox stock to $31 a share from his previous $35 a share target and Friday’s close of $31.92. According to Cahall, FNC accounts for about 80% of Fox Corp.’s earnings.
The group asks the FCC to deny the station’s license renewal application, alleging that senior management of Fox Corp. “manipulated its audience by knowingly broadcasting false news about the 2020 election. Its intentional and chronic news distortion further divided the country, sowing discord that was a contributing factor to the attack on our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.”
Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is investigating Fox Corp.’s board of directors for “breach of fiduciary duty” after Fox News repeatedly broadcast election lies in the wake of the 2020 election. That resulted in a historic $787 million defamation settlement with Dominion Voting Systems.
Oregon’s attorney general announced that she is investigating Fox Corp.’s board of directors for “breach of fiduciary duty” after Fox News repeatedly broadcast election lies in the wake of the 2020 election. That resulted in a historic $787 million defamation settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. “Treasurer Read and I believe that Fox’s board of directors breached its fiduciary duties by allowing Fox News to broadcast false claims that Dominion and Smartmatic rigged the 2020 presidential election,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum in a statement. “We hope to hold the board accountable and protect the long-term value of Oregon’s investment in Fox Corp.
Marianne Gambelli, president of ad sales for Fox Corp., says in an interview that she believes the company will stand apart in the TV industry’s looming “upfront” sales session by not pressing potential sponsors to snap up commercial inventory in multiple venues.
Sports saved the company’s fiscal 3Q. “Our advertising revenues increased 43%, led by the Super Bowl,” said CFO Steve Tomsic. “Television advertising revenue led this growth with a 61% increase, fueled by Super Bowl 57, which generated over $650 million in gross revenue. We also benefitted from two additional NFL Playoff games — one divisional and one wildcard — partially offset by the timing of one less regular season game.”
Fox Corp. today reported a $50 million loss last quarter from a $290 million profit the year before mostly due to the cost of a legal settlement with Dominion Voting Services. Sales jumped 18% last quarter to $4.08 billion advertising revenues rose 43%, reflecting the impact of Super Bowl LVII, a higher volume of NFL games and continued growth at Tubi. Affiliate fee revenues increased 3% with 9%. Other revenue was essentially unchanged from the prior year quarter.
Technology executives from Fox Corp., CBC/Radio-Canada, E.W. Scripps, Nevion and TAG Video Systems took the measure of IP networking’s progress among broadcasters in a TVNewsCheck webinar last week. The chasm between its vanguard and smaller stations remains wide.
Fox Corp. has named Kristopher Jones executive VP and head of government relations, based in Washington. He had been SVP, government relations. He reports to Viet Dinh, chief legal and policy officer. In addition, Jamie Gillespie has been named executive VP of government relations. Both Jones and Gillespie formerly worked at the National Association of Broadcasters.
The company reported total quarterly revenues of $4.61 billion, a 4% increase from the $4.44 billion reported in the prior year quarter. Affiliate fee revenues increased 1% led by 6% growth at the television segment. Advertising revenues increased 4%, primarily reflecting the impact of the FIFA Men’s World Cup and strong NFL results at Fox Sports, higher political advertising revenues at the Fox Television Stations and continued growth at Tubi.
The company reported total revenue in the quarter ending December 31 of $4.61 billion, up 4% from the year-earlier period, and earnings of 48 cents a share. Affiliate fee revenues rose 1% thanks to 6% growth at the Television unit. Ad revenue climbed 4%, no mean feat in a tough economic climate, mostly due to the World Cup in Qatar and strong NFL results at Fox Sports. Other boosts came from political spending at the company’s local stations and growth for streaming service Tubi.
News Corp. and Fox Corp., both controlled by Rupert Murdoch, have abandoned a potential merger after a special committee determined that “a combination is not optimal for shareholders.” Multiple shareholders in the companies had expressed their opposition to the merger in recent months. Murdoch officially notified the boards of both companies that the merger proposal was being withdrawn.
In a major boost to the Midtown office market, Fox and News Corp signed separate leases to extend their headquarters commitments at 1211 Sixth Ave. through 2042. The leases total nearly 1.2 million square feet in the 44-story, 2 million square-foot tower between West 47th and 48th streets.
Rupert Murdoch and the Murdoch Family Trust will not vote in favor of a Fox-News Corp. merger unless the combination has the blessing of special committees of outside directors, and of non-Murdoch affiliated stockholders. The boards of both companies issued statements Tuesday in an “update on the process in response to recent inquiries.” Special committees began exploring a recombination of the two companies last month at Murdoch’s request, prompting some blowback by some outside investors who don’t think it’s in the best interests of either.
The Fox Corp. chairman is the highest-profile individual to be questioned in the case, which hinges on Fox’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election.
A few days before the expiration of a carriage deal with DirecTV, Fox Corp. is warning viewers of its networks about a potential blackout as the companies continue to negotiate. On Sunday, Fox began airing a crawl across the bottom of the screen on networks including FS1, the Big Ten Network and Fox News. The message advised viewers of the potential outage. Ahead of a Dec. 2 deadline at midnight PT, the companies are continuing to hold active talks.
A London-based investor in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and Fox Corp. has reportedly expressed its opposition to the companies’ potential reunification. Independent Franchise Partners is one of the largest shareholders apart from the Murdoch family, with stakes in Fox and News Corp. of more than 7%. The companies confirmed several weeks ago they were formally considering a potential merger, bringing assets like Fox News, the Fox broadcast network, The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones back under a single umbrella.
Fox won the right to buy an 18.6% stake in sports betting company FanDuel Group from its parent company Flutter, but not at the valuation, according to a ruling Friday from a New York arbitrator. Should Fox exercise its option to take the stake, it would be at a price of at least $3.72 billion.
Fox Corp. said it selected FreeWheel, Comcast’s ad tech company, to manage its television advertising inventory across its OneFox portfolio. The portfolio includes Fox’s entertainment, sports, streaming and news channels and programming.
CFO Steve Tomsic: “Our television stations had a record September quarter for political advertising revenues, while the Fox Network benefitted from continued strength in pricing.” And CEO Lachlan Murdoch is bullish looking ahead: “With a week still to go before Election Day, we have already beat our fiscal year 2021 record at the local stations, excluding the Georgia run-offs.”
Fox Corp. rode a surge in political ad spending and continued growth in streaming in its fiscal first quarter, posting financial results above Wall Street analysts’ expectations. Adjusted net income came in at $1.21 per share, up a dime from the year-ago quarter and well ahead of analysts’ consensus forecast for $1.12. Total revenue of $3.19 billion, up 5% from a year ago, also cleared the bar. Fox credited a surge in political advertising and the continued growth of Tubi, its ad-supported streaming service.
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is exploring a re-combination of the family’s Fox Corp. and News Corp., which split into two separate companies nearly a decade ago. The boards of directors of both have set up committees to examine the possibility. News Corp. said Friday afternoon that its board, at the request of Rupert Murdoch and the Murdoch Family Trust, has formed a special committee “composed of independent and disinterested members of the board” to begin exploring a combination.
The partnership will cover the Fox portfolio, leveraging InnovidXP for measurement of linear and streaming.
Fox Corp. Chief Financial Officer Steve Tomsic said traditional linear television like broadcast and cable services still have a lot of life left in them, downplaying comments made by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings who claimed the end of linear television was near.
Two months ago, Australian media site Crikey called “Murdoch” an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch’s lawyers have been battling Crikey ever since. On Monday, Crikey published an open letter and took out a full-page ad in the New York Times, challenging Murdoch to sue the company. Tuesday, Murdoch did just that.