Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox has purchased all media properties of National Geographic including the Nat Geo Magazine in a deal worth $725 million. A joint venture called National Geographic Partners has been formed, which will include properties like National Geographic Magazine, National Geographic Studios, digital and social media platforms, books, maps, children’s media and e-commerce and licensing.
For 127 years, National Geographic has remained a non-profit organization. But now this deal makes it a for profit joint venture. National Geographic Partners will be have 73% ownership by Fox, and the National Geographic Society will own 27%.
According to a report done by Washington Post, the iconic magazine took this step to stop further decline brought about by digital. Washington Post quotes Gary Knell, the society’s CEO:
“It has become apparent that ensuring the future of the society would require something bold,” the society’s chief executive, Gary Knell, said at an all-staff meeting Wednesday. Continuing as a media organization and potentially absorbing future losses, he said, “presented enormous and real existential risks. We . . . truly believe the path we’ve chosen presents the greatest potential upside.”