National Geographic Magazine Goes For-Profit, Backed by Rupert Murdoch’s Fox

In a deal announced Wednesday the National Geographic Society and Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox are creating a for-profit joint venture that encompasses the National Geographic Channel’s cable television group along with National Geographic’s other properties.

Image by GreyLoch.

Image by GreyLoch.

Fox will own 73% of the new venture, called National Geographic Partners, and the National Geographic Society 27%, though the two owners will have equal representation on the board and share governance. The National Geographic Society will continue to operate as a non-profit organisation.

In response to the concern about conflicting outlooks, executives underscored that the agreement builds upon an 18-year partnership between the two groups for National Geographic Channels.

This comes after announcement that around 180 people – some 9% of staff – are to lose their positions at the society. Many being laid off from the publication’s prestigious nature magazine, have won awards for their work at NatGeo.

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