National Geographic is teaming up with 21st Century Fox to form a $725 million new media company, which will be called National Geographic Partners. Fox will own 73 percent of the company and the National Geographic Society will own the rest — and the new entity will be for-profit.
The National Geographic Society's endowment will increase to almost $1 billion as a resultThe partnership includes National Geographic's media outlets, including its television channel and renowned magazine; Fox already had majority ownership over the television channel, but its stake in the magazine is new. National Geographic's television channel is available in 86 million US households, as well as in 171 countries. It's the most remunerative asset the society owns, according to The Washington Post.
The National Geographic Society itself will remain a nonprofit, though its endowment is set to increase to almost $1 billion as a result of today's deal. That investment will let the society "basically double" its investment in science, the society said in a statement.
Fox has no plans to change the magazine as yet, chief executive officer James Murdoch told The Washington Post. The deal has already made some people uneasy — James Murdoch's father, Rupert Murdoch, is a well-known climate change denier. Fox's media properties are among the main sources of climate change misinformation.