Murdoch Empire Rules Out Creating British Version of Fox News
(Bloomberg) -- Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has decided against creating a U.K. version of Fox News, a network that dominates U.S. cable news while drawing criticism for its polarizing content.
The company’s British boss, Rebekah Brooks, told employees in a memo Tuesday that it wouldn’t make economic sense to launch a traditional cable network in the market. News Corp. is opting to focus on online video rather than so-called linear TV, she said.
“We determined early on in that review that it was not commercially viable to launch a traditional news channel on linear TV,” Brooks wrote to staff. “Whilst there is consumer demand for alternative news provision, the costs of running a rolling news channel are considerable, and it is our assessment that the payback for our shareholders wouldn’t be sufficient. We need to launch the right products for the digital age.”
News Corp.’s David Rhodes had told Bloomberg last month that the company was leaning against creating a British Fox News.
News UK undertook a comprehensive review of video options, spearheaded by Rhodes, a former Fox News executive. The study concluded that pursuing programming for internet-connected television would be the more profitable option.
Rhodes, who previously held roles at CBS and Bloomberg Television, will be leaving his position as U.K. TV president in June. He’ll continue to work with News Corp. on video but hand his London responsibilities to the company’s U.K. radio boss, Scott Taunton. That executive will oversee the video plans under a new merged role of CEO of News UK Broadcasting.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.