Rupert Murdoch just bought National Geographic: Fox buyout means shift to pure for-profit

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As I read it, The National Geographic Society is selling a controlling interest in its media assets, including National Geographic Magazine, for $725M. The Society will then have a $1B endowment with which to continue its mission, independent of Fox. Fox will have a controlling stake over the newly formed media partnership company, not the National Geographic Society itself.


As I read it, not so much:

“The Society will remain a non-profit, separately governed from National
Geographic Partners. The partnership will be governed by a board
comprised of an equal number of representatives from Fox and National


That’s the way I read it. I dunno, might be win-win?

Or in 15 years NatGeo will be dumbed down to “Ow! My balls!” Documentaries.


Which, I mean. The Magazine has been the public face of the society for what? 150 years? A huge cultural institution in the US.

Cynically, the executives of the society now have $1,000,000,000 to fund elaborate trips for themselves, buy fancier offices, etc?


Ugh. As a subscriber to the magazine, I guess I’ll wait to see what happens. If they can Sylvia Earle, I’ll know it’s time to cancel my subscription…


No, I think you’re misunderstanding that paragraph. National Geographic Partners is the name of the new media company they’re forming, of which Fox will own 3/4 and NGS 1/4. “The partnership” referred to in the second sentence is that new media company. NGS remains a separate entity.

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Perhaps you’re right there, but still, there is no doubt the magazine’s editorial stance will change over the next few years. The focus will shift to more pop science, less controversial issues, and such. Whether or not that impacts the Society’s grant recipients, I guess that’s still up in the air, except that it’s hard to not let the person you’re banging every night influence your daily decisions. Whatever legitimacy remained in this group’s logo is definitely ka-put.


wish I could share in the optimism, alas, I cannot.
Perhaps not next year, nor the year after that, but I sense an inevitable decline in objective content.
However, this could catalyse the creation of a new research “Society” funded by an impartial source, staffed by Nat-Geo ex-pats who are unwilling to compromise their scientific standards…
How many subscriptions will be cancelled this year…?


And the dumbing down of America and the world to some degree continues. I can not wait for Murdoch to die…he is such an a**hole of the first degree. He’s what the Koch brothers hope they can be like one day.


Glad I saw this before mailing in my renewal. I fear this will not lead in a good direction. Already in partnership with FOX for the TV network they have such shows as the controversial Diggers (read up on what archeologists this of this show), Bid & Destroy, Doomsday Preppers etc etc etc. Who want’s to bed that the non-profit side of the Society becomes a shell of it’s former self, even with a 1B endowment.

And why didn’t boingboing editors co-ordinate their coverage of this event. Two articles on the front page??? Really?


I agree, the magazine will suffer as a result of this. But the Society will benefit. And the post’s headline and text is muddling the difference between the two. The magazine isn’t getting $1B, the Society is. The magazine doesn’t give grants to scientists, the Society does.

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The magazine is dead and the society irrevocably tainted.


Yes, but the humans inhabiting those groups are made of flesh, blood, and emotions, and the relationships and politics won’t be so clearly divided just because a piece of paper says they are. I mean, come on. These are homo sapiens we’re talking about. When, in the history of humanity, have things been any different?

So they get $1 Billion for research, the results of which they now have no way of sharing with the public?


Unfortunately. I used to look forward to getting the the magazine, no more…

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Hell hath frozen.

I’m sure the new page 3 spread will be very educational.


NatGeo is already dumbed down, the publication is a long ways off from where it was 20 years ago.

I mean yeah it can certainly get a lot worse, as far as magazines go they’re still near the top, but with the decline of print media in general they’ve had to make compromises to attract eyeballs and it’s resulted in some really weak content.