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National Geographic and Fox Partnership

A $725mil deal between National Geographic and Fox, giving Fox 73% ownership of the newly formed National Geographic Partners was recently announced.  The nonprofit National Geographic Society is funded largely by private donations, and will now also be backed by the empire of Rupert Murdoch, an outspoken skeptic of climate change.  Immediately, eyebrows were raised about how this stance will affect the science-driven mission of the society, raising further questions about how this partnership will affect the readership and credibility of the nonprofit organization.

What are the benefits from this partnership, given the risks of losing readership and credibility?  One area that media outlets analyze is the flow and ebb of readers in its products.  The National Geographic magazine has many competitors, all of whom are fighting for market share within a similar network of users.  Given Fox, which may have a strong viewership but is loosely connected to the National Geographic viewership, building a bridge between this network and the society’s network could possibly yield a large new network of viewers.  With an initial connection between the networks, certain users within Fox’s network with interests in science and travel may be drawn into the National Geographic network, yielding a favorably number of new readers for the magazine.

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/10/business/media/national-geographic-and-fox-form-a-commercial-media-company.html?_r=0

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/09/438853832/national-geographic-reshapes-itself-in-725-million-deal-with-21st-century-fox

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/09/150909-21st-century-fox-media-partnership/

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