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

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8930
JPY
USD
117.98
GBP
USD
0.6673
CAD
USD
1.2445
INR
USD
61.498

Rates may not be current.