FCC Grants Fox Another Temporary Waiver for WWOR-New York Post

Pointing out that the fate of its newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule is in legal limbo, the FCC’s Media Bureau has denied Fox Corp.’s request for a permanent waiver to own both WWOR Secaucus, N.J., and the New York Post, instead granting it another temporary waiver.

Fox Corp. Delays Return To Office Until April

Employees at Fox Corp. had been told to get ready for a return to their offices as soon as January. Now they will wait until at least April. In a memo sent to staffers, Lachlan Murdoch, the company’s executive chairman and CEO, said Fox Corp. will push back a full re-opening of its facilities due to the rise of coronavirus cases around the nation.

EARNINGS CALL

Fox TV Rev Down Last Quarter, But Now Pacing Up

Television (Fox Network, O&Os and Tubi streaming) reported revenues down $6 million to $1.35 billion in the quarter ending in September. Affiliate revenues (retrans and payments from affiliate stations) rose 23% to $560 million, while advertising declined 15% to $670 million. However, that began to change toward the end of the quarter and CFO Steve Tomsic said “the strong advertising momentum at [Fox] News, our local television stations and Tubi have all carried forward into the first month of this current quarter.”

James Murdoch, Rebellious Scion

Increasingly uncomfortable with News Corp’s politics and profit motives, Rupert’s younger son chose chickens and sheep over Fox, and insists he doesn’t watch Succession.

Murdochs See Fox Compensation Dip

Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, the overseers of the Fox Corp. media conglomerate their family controls, saw their annual compensation fall for the most recent fiscal year in large part due to executives’ decision to give up salary between May and September as the company grappled with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden Spending “Quite Substantially” On Fox News

Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch says the cable network is enjoying a thriving advertising market amid the U.S. presidential campaign. “You’ll see this Sunday, the Biden campaign spending quite substantially,” Murdoch reported.

JESSELL AT LARGE

Jessell | Fox Isn’t For Sale, But Let’s Say It Is

Analyst Michael Nathanson last week suggested Fox Corp. sell off its broadcast assets, which are a drag on its bottom line. That prompts some guessing about who could bid — WarnerMedia? Sony? Amazon? — and the many reasons they are likelier to sit it out.

Talking TV | Spot TV And Sports Protest

TVNewsCheck’s Michael Depp and Harry Jessell discuss MoffettNathanson’s suggestion that Fox Corp. spin off its network and O&Os; automated selling; and protest waves rippling through the professional sports world.

Fox Should Dump Broadcast Net, Says Wall Street Analyst

MoffettNathanson says that having spun off its core entertainment assets to Disney last year, owning a broadcast network and TV stations no longer makes strategic sense. Fox Corp. should sell them to a big studio owner like WarnerMedia or to any entity looking to use the power of broadcasting to launch direct-to-consumer streaming services.

Fox Corp. Rolls Back Pandemic Pay Cuts

The pay cuts spurred on by the novel coronavirus pandemic are beginning to wind down. Fox Corp. told employees in April that everyone at the VP level or above would see their pay cut by 15% through the end of July. In an email to staff last month, Fox chief legal and policy officer Viet Dinh wrote to staff confirming that pay would be returned to normal effective Aug. 1.

Fox Corp.: ‘Non Production’ Employees Likely To Stay Remote Through Yearend

QUARTERLY REPORT

Fox Quarterly Sales Down Sharply

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.

Analyst Upgrades Fox Stock Rating

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.

EARNINGS CALL

Fox: Positive Signs From Advertisers

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.

Murdoch, Fox Execs To Take Pay Cuts

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. Names Sal Petruzzi SVP Of Communications

Fox Corp. Selling $1.2 Billion In Debt

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.: Virus To Affect Business Results

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, Others Pull Out Of Media Conference

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.

Fox And Nexstar Complete Station Sales

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.

Fox Opts Not To Air Ads For ‘Bombshell’

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.

TVN TECH

TVN Tech | 2020 Vision: IP, Cloud, 3.0, 5G Come Into Focus

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.

Fox Corp. Aims For ‘Surgical Strikes’ In M&A

“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. Expands Elizabeth Casey’s Role

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 […]

DMAS 13, 21 & 35

Nexstar, Fox Buy/Sell Five Stations

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 Names New EVP Of Tech, Digital

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, Charter Strike New Carriage Deal

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.

Everything Smaller At Fox Except Lachlan’s Pay

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.

Murdochs See Pay Dip After Disney Merger

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.

Fox Corp. Launches Sport Betting Platform

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.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Fox Corp. Beats Wall Street Estimates

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 To Buy Majority Stake In Credible Labs

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.

Shah, Former WH Spokesman, Lands At Fox

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, 88, Recovering After Pneumonia

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.

Fox Corp. Leaders Tout Growth Potential

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.

‘New’ Fox To Seek Bigger Retrans Payments

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.

QUARTERLY REPORT

Fox TV Revenue Climbs 20% In 1Q

The increase to $1.37 billion is attributed to higher affiliate, advertising and other revenues.

Trump Adviser Slater Joins Fox Corp. DC Office

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.

Will Sean Hannity Leave Fox?

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. Appoints Jeff Taylor EVP-Chief Litigation Counsel

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.