No. 6: News Corp.

New York

Revenue: $13.8 billion

Loss: $445 million

It’s been a heady summer for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. The conglomerate just closed on its purchase of TV station group Chris-Craft, a deal that gives it 32 TV stations and duopolies in some major markets. It sold Fox Family, a money-losing cable network owned jointly with Haim Saban, to Walt Disney for more than $5 billion. That gives it an extra cash infusion to pursue the mother of all deals, a thus-far elusive merger with satcaster DirecTV.

News Corp. has been in talks with DirecTV parent G.M. for nearly two years. If a deal closes, as expected, this summer or early fall, the conglom will have scored three home runs. DirecTV would become the crucial U.S. platform in a company that folds together News Corp.’s giant international satellite operations, including BSkyB in the U.K. and Star TV in Asia.

Cable net Fox News has been steadily encroaching on CNN. News Corp. also owns a FX cable net and Fox Sports regional sports networks.

Twentieth Century Fox is having a nice run with “Planet of the Apes” and its TV production factory continues to rule in primetime. Publishing assets include HarperCollins in the U.S. and a stable of newspapers in Australia and the U.K. Following its buy of Chris-Craft, which gives it two Gotham stations, company may be forced to sell New York Post. Current regs forbid ownership of a broadcast and newspaper property in the same market. The Federal Communication Commission gave Murdoch two years to comply, but many think the rule will be history by then.

A tantalizing question is succession. Rupert’s son Lachlan, the elder and considered the heir apparent, was promoted to vice chairman earlier this year. And son James reigns over Star. For now, Rupe’s right-hand man, chief operating officer Peter Chernin, has things well in hand.

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • AtmosphereThe Current State of Play in

    New York’s PlayStation Theater to Close (EXCLUSIVE)

    New York’s PlayStation Theater, a 2,100-capacity venue located in Times Square and operated by Bowery Presents, will close at the end of 2019, a source close to the situation tells Variety. The venue will close with a New Year’s series of shows from the Disco Biscuits. The theater, which is located two stories beneath the [...]

  • Courtesy of Earwolf

    How Lauren Lapkus Tossed the Script and Created a Podcasting Hit

    Lauren Lapkus has tossed the script on what makes most podcasts a hit. At a time when many of the most downloaded shows are true crime investigations or celebrity interviews, she’s doing something entirely different on each episode of “With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus.” Each hour-long installment is a free-wheeling, completely improvised ride. One show [...]


    WWE's 'NXT' Moves to USA Network as Wrestling Competition Heats Up

    WWE has struck a deal to move its “NXT” franchise focusing on rising stars to USA Network starting next month. “NXT” will shift to USA from the WWE Network subscription streaming service as of Sept. 18. The deal comes as USA is about to lose WWE’s “SmackDown” showcase to Fox starting in October. USA is [...]

  • Shazam

    Apple Music Launches 'Shazam Discovery' Chart, Focused on New Artists

    Apple Music today launched the “Shazam Discovery Top 50,” a weekly, global ranking of 50 artists that it describes as “on the move and trending” — in other words, new and emerging artists. While the company wouldn’t say much specifically about how the chart is tabulated, it uses “Shazam’s proprietary algorithms [to offer] a unique predictive view [...]

  • The Chainsmokers Production Company

    Chainsmokers’ Catalog Acquired by Fast-Growing Hipgnosis Songs

    The Chainsmokers’ writer and publishing rights have been acquired by the fast-growing Hipgnosis Songs and its investment adviser, The Family (Music) Limited, for an undisclosed amount, the company announced today. The company has acquired 100% of the Chainsmokers’ interest in 32 of the duo’s songs, including ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) income in [...]

  • Hollywood Recession Business Placeholder

    How an Economic Downturn Could Ravage Hollywood

    Trade-war fears, stock market volatility and, most recently, bond market signals that point to a pending recession are rattling investors, igniting concerns that another devastating downturn may be just around the corner. As those worries reverberate all the way from Wall Street to Hollywood, the entertainment industry is in for an unsettling reminder of the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content