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News Corporation (1979)

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  Summary  

News Corporation (, , , NWSLV) or News Corp. is an American multinational media conglomerate headquartered in New York City, New York, United States. It is the world's second-largest media conglomerate as of 2011 in terms of revenue, and the world's third largest in entertainment as of 2009, although the BBC remains the world's largest broadcaster. The company's chairman and chief executive is Rupert Murdoch.

News Corporation is a publicly traded company listed on the NASDAQ, with secondary listings on the Australian Securities Exchange. Formerly incorporated in South Australia, the company was re-incorporated under Delaware General Corporation Law after a majority of shareholders approved the move on 12 November 2004. At present, News Corporation is headquartered at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, in New York City, in the newer 1960s–1970s corridor of the Rockefeller Center complex.

News Corporation is a member of the Motion Picture Association of America .

  Biography  

News Corp was created in 1979 by Rupert Murdoch as a holding company for News Limited. News Limited was created by Murdoch from the assets he inherited in 1952 following the death of his father, Sir Keith Murdoch, and subsequent expansion. The main asset left to him was ownership of the Adelaide afternoon tabloid, The News. News Limited operates today as News Corporation's Australian brand, operating out of Surry Hills, in Sydney.


 Moving into the United States
News Ltd. made its first acquisition in the United States in 1973, when it purchased the San Antonio Express-News. Soon afterwards it founded the National Star, a supermarket tabloid, and in 1976 it purchased the New York Post.

In 1981 News Corp bought half of the movie studio 20th Century Fox, buying the other half in 1984. In 1985 News Corp announced it was buying the Metromedia group of stations, setting the stage for the launch of a fourth U.S. commercial broadcasting television network. On 4 September 1985, Murdoch became a naturalized citizen to satisfy the legal requirement that only United States citizens could own American television stations. In 1986, the Metromedia deal closed, and the Fox Broadcasting Company was launched. This network, known on-screen as "Fox", can now be picked up in over 96% of U.S. households.

 Expansion and consolidation
In 1986 and 1987, News Corp moved to adjust the production process of its British newspapers, over which the printing unions had long maintained a highly restrictive grip. A number of senior Australian media moguls were brought into Murdoch's powerhouse, including John Dux, who was managing director of the South China Morning Post. This led to a confrontation with the printing unions NGA and SOGAT. The move of News International's London operation to Wapping in the East End resulted in nightly battles outside the new plant. Delivery vans and depots were frequently and violently attacked. Ultimately the unions capitulated.

By 1992, News Corp had amassed huge debts, which forced it to sell many of the American magazine interests it had acquired in the mid-1980s to K-III Communications, as well spinning off long held Australian magazines interests as Pacific Magazines. Much of this debt came from its stake in the Sky Television satellite network in the UK, which incurred massive losses in its early years of operation, which was heavily subsidised with profits from its other holdings until it was able to force rival satellite operator BSB to accept a merger on its terms in 1990. (The merged company, BSkyB, has dominated the British pay-TV market since.)

In 1993 News Corp acquired a 63.6% stake of the Hong Kong-based STAR TV satellite network for over $500 million, followed by the purchase of the remaining 36.4% in July 1995. Murdoch declared that:

" have proved an unambiguous threat to totalitarian regimes everywhere ... satellite broadcasting makes it possible for information-hungry residents of many closed societies to bypass state-controlled television channels."

In 1995, the Fox network became the object of scrutiny from the FCC when it was alleged that its Australian base made Murdoch's ownership of Fox illegal. The FCC, however, ruled in Murdoch's favor, stating that his ownership of Fox was in the public's best interests. It was also noted that the stations themselves were owned by a separate company whose chief shareholder was U.S. citizen Murdoch, although nearly all of the stations' equity was controlled by News Corp. In the same year News Corp announced a deal with MCI Communications to develop a major news website as well as funding a conservative news magazine, The Weekly Standard. In the same year, News Corp launched the Foxtel pay television network in Australia in a partnership with Telstra and Publishing and Broadcasting Limited.

In 1996, Fox established the Fox News Channel, a 24-hour cable news station to compete against Ted Turner's rival channel CNN.

In 1999, News Corp significantly expanded its music holdings in Australia by acquiring the controlling share in a leading Australian based label, Michael Gudinski's Mushroom Records; merging it with already held Festival Records to create Festival Mushroom Records . Both Festival and FMR were managed by Rupert Murdoch's son James Murdoch for several years.

Also in 1999, The Economist reported that News Corp paid comparatively lower taxes and Newscorp Investments specifically had made £11.4 billion ($20.1 billion) in profits over the previous 11 years but had not paid net corporation tax. It also reported that after an examination of the available accounts, Newscorp could normally have been expected to pay corporate tax of approximately $350 million. The article explained that in practice the corporation's complex structure, international scope and use of offshore tax havens allowed News Corporation to pay minimal taxes.

 Development since 2000
In late 2003, News Corp acquired a 34% stake in DirecTV Group , operator of the largest American satellite TV system, from General Motors for US $6 billion. DirecTV Group was sold to Liberty Media in 2008 in exchange for its holding in News International.

In 2007 News Corporation reached an agreement to purchase Dow Jones, publishers of The Wall Street Journal, for an estimated $5.6 billion. On 15 October 2007 the corporation spun off a business news channel from Fox News—Fox Business Network. The channel's lawyers were "reviewing all of the fine details of the contract" between Dow Jones and CNBC, said Alexis Glick, Fox Business Network's vice president of business news and the channel's morning anchor. But, she added, "we will actively use" the other Dow Jones properties. "...this new channel is a bit tedious. Somehow, business is more interesting when treated in a business-like way", commented Rob Carrick in 16 October's Toronto Globe and Mail. On 8 February 2007, Murdoch promised guests at the McGraw-Hill Media Summit that, "a Fox channel would be more business-friendly than CNBC. That channel leap on every scandal, or what they think is a scandal", he said.

In 2009, News Corp established NewsCore, a global wire service set up to provide news stories to all of News Corp's journalistic outlets.

In 2010 due to the Fijian government's requirement that the country's media outlet must be 90% owned by Fiji nationals, News Corporation sold 90% of their stake in their Fijian newspapers to Motibhai Group of Companies.

On July 13, 2011, Rupert Murdoch announced that the company would withdraw the News Corporation takeover bid for BSkyB due to concerns relating to the News of the World phone hacking affair. News Corporation already owned, and continues to own, 39.1% of BSkyB.

 2011 scandal

In July 2011, News Corp closed down the News of the World newspaper in the United Kingdom due to allegations of phone hackings. The allegations include trying to access former Prime Minister Gordon Brown's voice mail, and obtain information from his bank accounts, family's medical records, and private legal files. Allegations of hacking have also been brought up in relation to former Prime Minister Tony Blair, and the Royal Family. Other allegations put out by The Guardian newspaper include the exploitation, with intent to gain access to or use private information, of a list of 4,332 names or partial names, 2,987 mobile phone numbers, 30 audio tapes of varying length and 91 PIN codes, of a kind required to access the voicemail of the minority of targets who change the factory settings on their mobile phones. The names are said to include those of British victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, family members of victims of the "7/7" bombings on London's transit system, family members of British troops killed overseas, Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old missing British girl who was later found dead, actor Hugh Grant and a lawyer representing the family of Princess Diana's lover at the inquest into her death.

On July 13, 2011 News Corp withdrew its bid to purchase the final 61% stake in BskyB after pressure from both the Labour and Conservative Parties in Parliament.

Recent allegations about the violation of ethical standards by the News Corporation subsidiary, News of the World, have been speculatively applied to News Corporation holdings in the United States. Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV), stated on July 12, 2011 that there should be a government investigation into News Corporation "to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated." His statement was echoed on Wednesday by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) who specifically requested an investigation into 9/11 victims, as well as Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) who encouraged an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. On July 13, 2011, Representative Peter King (R-NY) wrote a letter to the FBI requesting an investigation into News Corporations ethical practices, and on July 14, the FBI opened a probe into the hacking of 9/11 victims. Les Hinton, chief executive of the media group's Dow Jones, resigned on July 15 saying, "I have seen hundreds of news reports of both actual and alleged misconduct during the time I was executive chairman of News International and responsible for the company. The pain caused to innocent people is unimaginable.That I was ignorant of what apparently happened is irrelevant and in the circumstances I feel it is proper for me to resign from News Corp, and apologise to those hurt by the actions of the News of the World."

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "News Corporation", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.