Editor's Note: The following has been adapted with the author's permission from its original publication on Carolina Culture Warrior. To be fully transparent, the author also owns shares in ABC (as previously disclosed).
By now, the shock and awe of Rupert Murdoch’s December 14 sale of 21th Century Fox to Disney has set in, so it’s worth a look back at how Murdoch built Fox into the mammoth film and television force it’s become today.
Born in 1931, the Australian-born Murdoch has he left an indelible mark on the media industry. After inheriting his father’s media empire, he eventually acquired a slew of television stations, as well as the iconic movie studio 20th Century Fox from oil magnate Marvin Davis.
The 86-year-old mogul eventually took advantage of his Fox acquisition to start up a fourth broadcast television network in 1987 – the Fox Broadcasting Company, which has been a colossal success, spurring the launch of a popular cable news channel and a sports division, not to mention being in the Saturday Morning cartoon business for 11 years.
As for the deal he made almost a month ago, it definitely makes a lot of business sense. But, here’s what’s really interesting. The day the deal between Disney and Fox was announced, Murdoch said this on the Fox Business Network:
There’s only Must See Fox News and Must See Fox Business. Entertainment is more and more non-linear. We see that in the way people watch the broadcast networks. There is no loyalty to them, there’s loyalty to individual programs. And you get certain ratings. You put it on a certain time, the end of the week that will have doubled. The end of a month it probably redoubled again. So, it’s very hard to monetize that with advertising.
“No loyalty” to broadcast networks? Isn’t that fascinating? Along with cord-cutting, this observation can be chalked up to why trust in mass media is at an all time low, considering the leftist propaganda seen in prime time.
Speaking of Disney, that includes cable networks like Disney-owned Freeform, the teen-oriented network formerly known as ABC Family. Its original drama The Fosters – which is set to end this summer – recently smeared the border patrol and ICE as inhumane monsters:
While this space has argued that the deal makes sense, it’s nonetheless significant, simply because it’s a successful media mogul selling his motion picture studio to an already gigantic Walt Disney Company in order to focus on news, sports, and live programming.
As previously stated, this will be very beneficial to both Disney and the Murdochs in the long run. For Disney, they can now rely even less on their liberal broadcast and cable operations in favor of movies and theme park. These two operations actually make them money while another lucrative area could come in Disney’s plans to launch a streaming service next year.
As for Murdoch, it will let him focus on what he does best, which is focus on news and opinion programming.