Tectonic plates are moving underneath Fox News

Under capitalism, ownership brings control, and Fox News has a new corporate parent that began trading yesterday on NASDAQ.  There are reasons for conservatives to be deeply concerned.

Sarah Ellison and Paul Farhi write at the Washington Post:

Fox's parent company is undergoing a generational change — one that produced another, perhaps more subtle sign of independence from the president.

On Tuesday, Fox Corp. began public trading as the new parent of Fox News, Fox Entertainment and Fox Sports; the company is the result of 21st Century Fox's sale of its film and television assets to Disney Corp.  The new company is headed by Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of Rupert Murdoch, who co-founded Fox News with Roger Ailes and remains a controlling shareholder in Fox.

Among Fox Corp.'s first acts in business: appointing former House speaker Paul D. Ryan to its board of directors.  Ryan is, of course, an establishment conservative disliked by both Democrats and those who most strongly supported Trump.  Although he advanced some of Trump's agenda, particularly tax reform, as speaker, Ryan declined to defend Trump or campaign with him in the latter stages of the 2016 campaign.

Ryan is also increasingly blamed for not passing funding for border wall construction while Republicans controlled both houses of Congress.

The acquisition of the film and television entertainment assets to Disney closed at midnight last night, so the restructuring of Murdoch's assets now is complete, with Fox Corporation's market cap more directly linked to the perceived television fortune of Fox News, along with Fox Sports and Fox Broadcasting.

The trading debut of Fox Corporation was not exactly auspicious, though not a disaster, either.  The early dip would seem to indicate a rush of sales orders, but this failed to set off a sustained decline.


Source: Yahoo Finance.

Coincidentally or not, this change in ownership coincides with the reported two-week suspension of Judge Jeanine Pirro's Saturday-night ratings champion show, following her questioning of Rep. Ilhan Omar's adherence to sharia, because she donned a hijab post-9/11.

President Trump's tweeted support for her and expressed worries about his supporters at Fox being silenced.

The rise of Fox News as the sole mass media counterpoint to the progressive media establishment changed American politics, and it has been a long held goal of the Left, particularly Soros-funded attack dog Media Matters, to either destroy it or politically neuter it, thereby monopolizing all media with a large national reach.  So the question naturally arises: does this new ownership under the control of a new generation of Murdochs signal a chance for the Left to accomplish this critical goal?

A gossipy post full of anonymous sources on Vanity Fair's politics blog, written by a commentator at rival MSNBC, certainly raises that hope for wannabe cable news ideological monopolists.  Gabriel Sherman writes:

Though Lachlan hired West Wing stalwart Hope Hicks, staffers believe he is likely to nudge the network away from its close marriage to Trump.  Sources close to Lachlan pointed out that Lachlan is a libertarian conservative, not a MAGA diehard, who in private has expressed annoyance at Trump.  "He doesn't like Trump," one person who has spoken with Lachlan told me.  "There's a lot of talk of the direction of the network changing under Lachlan," the senior Fox staffer told me.

Sources pointed out the hiring of Donna Brazile and the appointment of Trump critic Paul Ryan to Fox Corp's board as signs of Lachlan's view on Trump.  "Donna is a shot in that direction.  Management knows they have an image problem."  Indeed, at an advertiser sales event in recent days, brands complained to Fox News executives about the network's association with Trump, a source briefed on the meeting told me.  (A spokesman for Lachlan declined to comment.)

Two sources close to Lachlan told me that he has likely waited to implement any editorial changes at Fox News until the Disney deal closes on March 20, for fear of antagonizing Trump into opposing it. 

Well, today's the day.  It's a brand-new era at Fox News — and that has me just a little worried.  From a strictly business perspective, Fox has a strategic niche all to itself: half of the country that is conservative, while its competitors on broadcast and cable news scramble to divide the other half.  But if advertisers pressure Fox News and hit its bottom line with boycotts, management may decide that its fiduciary duty to shareholders requires a leftward shift.

At an earlier stage of his career, Thomas Lifson taught at Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA and was a Baker Scholar.

Under capitalism, ownership brings control, and Fox News has a new corporate parent that began trading yesterday on NASDAQ.  There are reasons for conservatives to be deeply concerned.

Sarah Ellison and Paul Farhi write at the Washington Post:

Fox's parent company is undergoing a generational change — one that produced another, perhaps more subtle sign of independence from the president.

On Tuesday, Fox Corp. began public trading as the new parent of Fox News, Fox Entertainment and Fox Sports; the company is the result of 21st Century Fox's sale of its film and television assets to Disney Corp.  The new company is headed by Lachlan Murdoch, the eldest son of Rupert Murdoch, who co-founded Fox News with Roger Ailes and remains a controlling shareholder in Fox.

Among Fox Corp.'s first acts in business: appointing former House speaker Paul D. Ryan to its board of directors.  Ryan is, of course, an establishment conservative disliked by both Democrats and those who most strongly supported Trump.  Although he advanced some of Trump's agenda, particularly tax reform, as speaker, Ryan declined to defend Trump or campaign with him in the latter stages of the 2016 campaign.

Ryan is also increasingly blamed for not passing funding for border wall construction while Republicans controlled both houses of Congress.

The acquisition of the film and television entertainment assets to Disney closed at midnight last night, so the restructuring of Murdoch's assets now is complete, with Fox Corporation's market cap more directly linked to the perceived television fortune of Fox News, along with Fox Sports and Fox Broadcasting.

The trading debut of Fox Corporation was not exactly auspicious, though not a disaster, either.  The early dip would seem to indicate a rush of sales orders, but this failed to set off a sustained decline.


Source: Yahoo Finance.

Coincidentally or not, this change in ownership coincides with the reported two-week suspension of Judge Jeanine Pirro's Saturday-night ratings champion show, following her questioning of Rep. Ilhan Omar's adherence to sharia, because she donned a hijab post-9/11.

President Trump's tweeted support for her and expressed worries about his supporters at Fox being silenced.

The rise of Fox News as the sole mass media counterpoint to the progressive media establishment changed American politics, and it has been a long held goal of the Left, particularly Soros-funded attack dog Media Matters, to either destroy it or politically neuter it, thereby monopolizing all media with a large national reach.  So the question naturally arises: does this new ownership under the control of a new generation of Murdochs signal a chance for the Left to accomplish this critical goal?

A gossipy post full of anonymous sources on Vanity Fair's politics blog, written by a commentator at rival MSNBC, certainly raises that hope for wannabe cable news ideological monopolists.  Gabriel Sherman writes:

Though Lachlan hired West Wing stalwart Hope Hicks, staffers believe he is likely to nudge the network away from its close marriage to Trump.  Sources close to Lachlan pointed out that Lachlan is a libertarian conservative, not a MAGA diehard, who in private has expressed annoyance at Trump.  "He doesn't like Trump," one person who has spoken with Lachlan told me.  "There's a lot of talk of the direction of the network changing under Lachlan," the senior Fox staffer told me.

Sources pointed out the hiring of Donna Brazile and the appointment of Trump critic Paul Ryan to Fox Corp's board as signs of Lachlan's view on Trump.  "Donna is a shot in that direction.  Management knows they have an image problem."  Indeed, at an advertiser sales event in recent days, brands complained to Fox News executives about the network's association with Trump, a source briefed on the meeting told me.  (A spokesman for Lachlan declined to comment.)

Two sources close to Lachlan told me that he has likely waited to implement any editorial changes at Fox News until the Disney deal closes on March 20, for fear of antagonizing Trump into opposing it. 

Well, today's the day.  It's a brand-new era at Fox News — and that has me just a little worried.  From a strictly business perspective, Fox has a strategic niche all to itself: half of the country that is conservative, while its competitors on broadcast and cable news scramble to divide the other half.  But if advertisers pressure Fox News and hit its bottom line with boycotts, management may decide that its fiduciary duty to shareholders requires a leftward shift.

At an earlier stage of his career, Thomas Lifson taught at Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA and was a Baker Scholar.