Fox Corp. Tuesday reported total sales of $2.42 billion last quarter, in line with expectations, down slightly (4%) from a year ago but off $1 billion from the previous three months as COVID-19 hit advertising.
Macquarie Capital analyst Tim Nollen has upgraded his rating on the stock of Fox Corp. to “neutral” and boosted his price target by $9 to $31, citing improving advertising trends that led him to increase his financial estimates, among other things. “The ad market is looking better than previously expected, and a return of live sports along with political ad spend in the second half of the calendar year would boost Fox,” he wrote in a Friday report.
CEO Lachlan Murdoch says that while some categories are down, others are pacing up — “so it’s a real mix.” Murdoch also noted that the local markets won’t recover at the same rate — it will be state-by-state based on how businesses reopen. “But we are beginning to see positive signs in the pacings going forward,” he said.
Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch will forgo his salary amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and 700 employees at the company will see salary reductions, the executive said in an internal memo on Wednesday.
Fox Corp. said it is selling $1.2 billion worth of notes and will use net proceeds for general corporate purposes. Companies are raising cash at a rapid pace as a nest egg against the harsh economic impact and unknown duration of the coronvirus. Earlier Tuesday Fox said the the COVID-19 spread could have an adverse material impact on its business. It’s the latest in a stream of companies to both officially declare the risk the economic shutdown poses to their business and raise cash to see it through hard times.
Fox Corp. has joined the chorus of media companies publicly acknowledging the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its business, noting canceled sports events and postponed production. The COVID-19 outbreak “could have a material adverse effect on the company’s business, financial condition or results of operations over the near to medium term,” Fox said in an SEC filing Monday.
Fox Corp. said it will be skipping the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference where Lachlan Murdoch was scheduled to present Wednesday. It said the decision “was made out of an abundance of caution due to evolving public health concerns regarding COVID-19.” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Wehne, who were going to present today, were also no-shows. Disney executive chairman and until recently CEO Bob Iger was also slated for today but Disney canceled.
With the deals involving stations in Seattle, Milwaukee, and Charlotte, N.C., Fox Television Stations expands its footprint to 29 stations across the country. Nexstar says it will use the approximately $240 million of net after-tax proceeds from the deals to reduce borrowings under its credit facilities.
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp. declined to run advertisements for Bombshell, a film about the sexual-harassment scandal at Fox News, according to people familiar with the matter. The Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. movie — debuting nationally on Friday — is based on the accounts of female Fox News journalists who took on the network’s late chairman, Roger Ailes, after he allegedly sexual harassed them.
Next year should see broadcasters making advances in the continuing move to IP, greater use of cloud platforms and significant progress for two new wireless technologies: ATSC 3.0 and the various 5G services being rolled out by wireless carriers. Above, a Sony camcorder and prototype 5G transmitter were used to test camera backhauls over Verizon’s 5G network during a recent NBC NFL broadcast.
“You shouldn’t think of us doing something like a station group acquisition,” Fox CFO Steven Tomsic said Tuesday at the UBS Global Technology, Media & Telecommunications Conference.
Fox Corp. on Wednesday announced an expanded role for EVP and Associate General Counsel Elizabeth Casey, who will now serve as a senior member of the company’s litigation and intellectual property groups. Casey, who will report to EVP and Chief Litigation Counsel Jeff Taylor, will also continue lead the Standards & Practices Department for Fox’s […]
Nexstar will purchase Charlotte, N.C.’s Fox and MNT affiliates for approximately $45 million while Fox will buy Nexstar’s Seattle Fox and MNT affiliates and Milwaukee’s Fox affil for approximately $350 million.
Fox Corp. has hired Yoel Flohr as EVP of technology and digital. He will report to Paul Cheesbrough, Fox Corp. CTO and president of digital. In his new role, Flohr will lead the digital product portfolio for Fox Entertainment, overseeing existing digital products and relationships, including Fox Now. He will work with the Fox Entertainment team to develop and grow new digital businesses, partnerships, and revenues.
Fox Corp. and Charter Communications today said they struck a new “long term” carriage deal for Fox’s suite of TV networks, the latest in a recent series of agreements Fox has struck with various distributors. The pact covers distribution of Fox Television Stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2, BTN and Fox Deportes. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The new Fox Corp. is much smaller than its predecessor by almost any measure. But one thing hasn’t changed: Lachlan Murdoch’s paycheck. The Fox CEO and heir to billionaire Rupert Murdoch has annual target compensation of $20 million — equal to what he received as executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, regulatory filings show. Of that, $3 million is salary and the rest is composed of cash and equity bonuses tied to performance.
In fiscal 2019, a period when the shape of the Murdoch media empire was transformed due to the sale to Disney of most of 21st Century Fox, Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch saw their total compensation from Fox Corp. decline.
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp. launched the Fox Bet sports betting platform on Monday, doing what no other major media company has done in North America: becoming the face of a sports gambling platform.
Fox Corp. beat Wall Street estimates in its first full quarter as a stand-alone company, with affiliate revenue and digital licensing powering the performance. Revenue of $2.51 billion beat the Street’s outlook of $2.47 billion. Fox credited affiliate revenue growth of 7%, driven by an 18% increase in its television unit. Another boost came from a 78% increase in other revenues, primarily due to higher digital content licensing revenues in the TV unit.
Fox Corp. has entered into an agreement to buy a majority stake in the consumer finance marketplace Credible Labs Inc., the company announced Sunday. As part of the merger agreement, Fox Corp. will pay $265 million for 67% of the company in addition to a $75 million growth capital commitment to Credible Labs over approximately two years.
Raj Shah, formerly principal deputy press secretary at the White House, has joined Fox News as a senior vice president at Fox Corp. Shah left the White House in January and will report to Viet Dinh, Fox’s chief legal and policy officer.
Rupert Murdoch, the 88-year-old billionaire media mogul, is recovering after a bout with pneumonia, two people familiar with the matter told CNN Business. One of the people, a person close to Murdoch’s family, said the pneumonia occurred nearly three weeks ago. The second person and a third person familiar with the matter added that he had gone to a Los Angeles hospital. It is unclear whether he was admitted.
Rupert Murdoch opened Fox Corp.’s Investor Day presentation on Thursday with a promise that the slimmed-down company will be a Wall Street growth story. Murdoch, Fox Corp. chairman, told the crowd in New York that he decided to sell most of his Hollywood assets to Disney in order to make the most out of all that he had assembled over the past few decades. “We were pivoting at a pivotal moment while staying true of course to our principles and our purpose,” he said.
The new Fox Corp. will be looking to boost its retransmission payments and subscriber fees from cable and satellite operators. “We plan to meaningfully accelerate or growth of both direct retransmission and non-O&O revenue,” said Fox COO John Nallen, speaking at the new company’s first investor day Thursday.
The increase to $1.37 billion is attributed to higher affiliate, advertising and other revenues.
Abigail Slater, who will be Fox Corp. senior vice president of policy and strategy, had been special assistant to the President Trump for technology, telecommunications and cybersecurity, advising National Economic Counsel President Larry Kudlow as well as the president.
Inside Fox News Channel, staffers believe that CEO Lachlan Murdoch is likely to nudge the network in a less pro-Trump direction. Is this the first step in a larger strategy to sell the newly spun-off company?
Fox Corp., which is still in its initial days as a stand-alone company after the close of the historic Disney deal, has appointed Jeff A. Taylor EVP and chief litigation counsel.
A day into slimmed-down Fox’s life as an independent public company, chairman and CEO Lachlan Murdoch addressed Fox Corp.’s 7,500 employees at a town hall meeting held on the Fox lot in LosAngeles and available via webcast to employees in New York and at Fox stations across the country. A big part of his speech was about empowering Fox employee to be involved since Day 1. To get them invested and to show that the company relies on each of them, Murdoch revealed that he is discussing with the board giving all employees shares in Fox ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 depending on how long they had been with the company.
A younger Murdoch inherits the mantle of chief executive of the family business — and the challenge of marrying the mostly liberal entertainment industry with Fox News’s conservative politics.
Danny O’Brien, who heads up Fox’s lobbying arm in D.C., has hit the ground running today, day one of the new Fox Corp. He has been ramping up the operation for the past four months, including for what will be a months-long battle with cable operators over renewal of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) act.
The ripple effects may not become clear for years. Analysts say that Disney could force smaller studios to merge as they scramble to compete. It will have greater leverage over theater owners when it comes to box office splits. And Disney’s plans to use Fox content to forcefully move into streaming could slow the growth of Netflix. “This deal definitely reshapes the landscape,” said Michael Nathanson, a leading media analyst.
The demise of 20th Century Fox as a standalone studio is an epochal event in Hollywood, one that casts long shadows over a movie industry grappling with new digital competitors from Silicon Valley and facing the possibility of further contraction.
It’s finally complete. Disney closed its $71 billion acquisition of Fox’s entertainment assets on Wednesday, more than a year after the mega merger was proposed . Disney gets far ranging properties ranging from Fox’s film studios, including “Avatar” and X-Men, to its TV productions such as “The Simpsons” and networks including National Geographic.
The deal for Fox’s entertainment businesses is likely to shake up the media landscape. Among other things, it paves the way for Disney to launch its streaming service, Disney Plus, due out later this year. It will also likely lead to layoffs in the thousands, thanks to duplication in Fox and Disney film-production staff.
The former House Speaker and Chase Carey join previously announced board members Rupert Murdoch, Lachlan Murdoch and Jacques Nasser as the company also adopts a so-called “poison pill.”
A new era for the Murdoch clan and the media business begins with the debut of Fox Corp. on Tuesday, a day before Disney completes its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The new-model Fox will begin trading Tuesday on the NASDAQ under the FOXA symbol. On Tuesday, 21st Century Fox will initiate a complex transfer of the Fox Corp. assets — primarily Fox News, Fox Sports, and Fox Broadcasting — to the newly created Fox Corp.
A smorgasbord of topics this week: (1) I don’t know it for a fact, but I know that it’s true that Charlie Ergen is the money behind Locast, the OTT service that is streaming local broadcast signals. (2) Retrans is also under attack from STELAR, the law that empowers satellite operators to import distant signals of network O&Os into areas where subscribers cannot receive local affiliates off air and is up for renewal. (3) With the emergence of the new Fox Corp. this week, a forecast finds that most of its broadcast fee growth will come from reverse comp. (4) A tip of the hat to FCC Comish Michael O’Rielly for taking on the Justice Department, which has been stepping on the FCC’s turf regarding local TV ownership rules.