News / Economy

Media Magnate Murdoch Looking to Build His Empire

Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corporation, speaks during a panel discussion at the B20 meeting of company CEOs in Sydney, Australia, July 17, 2014.
Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corporation, speaks during a panel discussion at the B20 meeting of company CEOs in Sydney, Australia, July 17, 2014.
Ken Bredemeier

Worldwide media magnate Rupert Murdoch is on the hunt to add to his corporate empire in the United States, as American media companies seek assets to gain an advantage over competitors.

Murdoch already controls movie studio 21st Century Fox, the widely watched Fox television channels and a prominent business newspaper, The Wall Street Journal. But media rival, Time Warner, balked this week at Murdoch's $80 billion offer to take over its movie studio, the popular HBO and Turner cable entertainment ventures and CNN, a worldwide news channel.

Time Warner said it "was not in the best interests" of the company to accept the deal or talk about it further with Murdoch.

But business and legal analyst Erik Gordon at the University of Michigan told VOA that Murdoch was facing a rapidly changing media landscape that could push him to increase his offer in hopes Time Warner might change its mind.

He said the planned mergers of cable distributors -- Comcast with Time Warner Cable and AT&T with the DirecTV satellite company -- would give them an advantage in multi-billion-dollar negotiations with media content producers like Murdoch and Time Warner.

With that in mind, Gordon said Murdoch was forced to become bigger if he wanted more clout.

"So you get into one of these sort of arms races, where one side gets more power, and then the other side has to consolidate to rebalance that power.... He wants to be able to go to the negotiating table against the distributors and say, well, look, if you don't deal with me on terms that are acceptable to me, not only do you lose my present properties like Fox, but you also lose HBO and Cartoon Network and everything else I get by taking over Time Warner," he said.

The dean of the business school at Hofstra University in New York, Patrick Socci, told VOA that for Murdoch, the acquisition of Time Warner's movie production division, along with HBO and its widely watched television dramas, could be reason enough to increase his bid beyond the $85 a share of stock he offered.

"I think right now at $85, Murdoch will be able to swing the deal and he's scaring everybody away by saying he may even go higher if Time Warner will open its books. And I could see that investors would probably push to make that happen, just to see how much more they could get," said Socci.

Murdoch, who generally supports conservative political causes in the U.S., said he would sell CNN if he acquired Time Warner, to avoid a conflict with his Fox News channel, where conservative commentators pointedly voice their opposition to U.S. President Barack Obama and his policies.

Gordon said that beyond the fight between corporate titans like Murdoch and Time Warner, there were other major U.S. companies seeking to win over more customers for the media content they were producing.

"You have a lot of the newer, more start-up channels -- Netflix, Amazon, Google -- getting into the business. So you sort of have two tiers. You have the huge elephants fighting each other in one room, and then you have the littler, newer guys outside the room who'll probably be their competition in coming years," he said.

You May Like

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9118
JPY
USD
124.31
GBP
USD
0.6420
CAD
USD
1.3048
INR
USD
64.136

Rates may not be current.