Rupert Murdoch’s $52.4 billion sale of 21st Century Fox to Disney has predictably sent shockwaves through the media industry. With its entertainment and international properties gone, “New Fox” will become a sports and news-focused company (along with Fox broadcast and its stations), and one of the biggest beneficiaries from this all-stock transaction will most certainly be Fox News.
The media mogul seems to make that clear yesterday on a call with investors, singling out Fox News in particular as “the longtime leading cable news network, the No. 1 cable network, and the strongest brand in all of television.”
He continued: “We have lost some of our stars, but lost none of our audience.”
Analysts seem to be in agreement that Fox News will indeed benefit significantly from this deal.
“The focus of the company now is on the remaining assets, with [Fox News] being the crown jewel,” GBH Insights director Daniel Ives tells Politico’s Jason Schwartz.
There also might be an opportunity for the brand to extend its impact into broadcast, both on the network and in its 28 local stations.
“I suspect that the remainder of Fox will end up owning more local broadcast stations, which will lean more on news,” said Pivotal Research’s Brian Weiser tells Schwartz. “Especially including Fox News but also possibly News Corp.”
According to Paul Hardart, a marketing professor at NYU’s Entertainment, Media and Technology program, there could be more of a Fox News influence on local news programs going forward, somewhat similar to what Sinclair is doing by injecting pro-Trump commentary into local newscasts, though Hardart doesn’t feel a Sean Hannity or a Tucker Carlson would suddenly be invading the Fox broadcast lineup. At least not yet.