Rupert Murdoch, Australian-British-American media mogul with a flair for power and opinion-forming, wants to reunite News Corp and Fox Corporation; and if you want to understand why, you should know who Blake Masters is. He is running for a seat in the Senate in the US state of Arizona at the Midterms in November.
Masters, 36, is a Republican. They really want to retake the Senate. Masters is considered an underdog, as evidenced by the fact that incumbent and opponent Democrat Mark Kelly has raised more than $21 million in donations over the past three months, compared to just $4.7 million for Masters – and this is where it gets interesting . Masters is backed by former President Donald Trump and a billionaire Peter Thiel – who has already invested a total of more than 15 million dollars in his friend’s election campaign. Prior to his political ambitions, Masters was in charge of day-to-day operations at Thiel’s investment company Thiel Capital, and he was president of the Thiel Foundation. Beyond the question of how much influence entrepreneurs should have in the election of a senator, the debate now revolves around: Should the Republicans help their candidate with a few extra millions or should Thiel do it?
in the Wall Street Journal there was a column by Kim Strassel entitled: “Peter Thiel, Losing Arizona”. It was an attack on Thiel, and at the same time a defense of the strategy of Mitch McConnell, the Republican mastermind. He preferred to give his party’s campaign millions to more promising candidates. On the same day, moderator Tucker Carlson complained from the right-wing populist TV station FoxNews bitter that McConnell withdrew his own candidate’s much-needed support: “The patriotic Americans must now make up for this deficit.”
The secret of the Republicans’ success: they cannot be divided
If there’s one great Republican strength, it’s campaigning unity, and they can usually count on that unity against their common opponent (Democrats of all stripes) to be shown in the Murdoch media. Fox News in particular benefits from scaring the shit out of Americans that an unwritten law in US politics could be broken during these midterms: the party that won the presidency loses in the next congressional election. It is enough to spread fear with the vision that this tradition would only be broken in the sense that President Joe Biden retained a slim majority in the Senate and thus continued to govern – which for Fox News amounts to the end of the USA. Higher rates from increased fear works well in this country, on both ends of the spectrum, by the way.
Only: that Wall Street Journal belongs to News Corp. FoxNews to the Fox Corporation – both to the Murdoch media, which are currently separate.
In 2013, Murdoch had the corporation that was once News Corporation had been called, divided into two independently operating companies. The reason given at the time was that it had become more and more complex to manage such a huge corporation. Murdoch had announced that the new structures would make day-to-day business simpler and more efficient. However, the decision also ensured that the TV channels and production companies were kept out of the scandal that the newspaper division had unleashed – employees had hacked the mailboxes of politicians and celebrities, there were several lawsuits, the newspaper News of the World has been discontinued.
And the separation created a lucrative fillet – Murdoch sold the entertainment division to Disney in 2019 for $ 71 billion. He no longer wanted to bother with films and series in the face of the streaming revolution, and he fetched a really good price. The rest became Fox Corporation, which focused on live TV, meaning news and sports. But in this second segment there is now competition with well-stocked coffers: Amazon and Apple have secured rights to major leagues such as the NFL (football), MLS (soccer) and MLB (baseball).
Said second company, News Corp, became the parent company for newspapers and online news portals such as Times and Sun in Great Britain, Wall Street Journal and New York Post in the USA and the book publisher HarperCollins and since September 2021 the celebrity news portal TMZ.
This planned merger is probably about more than just increasing profits
There had always been rumors of a reunion; Now the 91-year-old Murdoch has initiated the two companies to set up special committees to examine how a merger can be achieved. Officially, it is said that Murdoch believes that this will reduce costs and open up new markets – for example in sports betting, which is currently considered ultra-hot in the USA. In 2019, Fox got involved Stars Group together to the betting portal Fox Bet to start.
“The media upheaval creates challenges, but also opportunities,” Fox CEO Robert Thompson wrote in an email to employees: “However, I would like to point out that the special committees have not yet made a decision and that it is not certain that a merger will be achieved.” That could get complicated. News Corp is currently valued at $9.3 billion, Fox Corp at $17 billion, with combined annual sales of about $24 billion.
When and if that will happen is unclear. Analysis and talks have only just begun, further details are likely to follow in the coming weeks. One thing is certain: Murdoch wants to unite both groups, and it’s not just about money, synergies and opening up new markets. He should also be concerned with content and political power – speaking with one voice when forming opinions.