Who Owns Fox News?

Who Owns Fox News?

Who owns Fox News? Fox News is owned by Fox Corporation, which the Murdoch family controls. The Murdoch family owns a 39.6% stake in Fox Corporation through a family trust. The trust is managed by Rupert Murdoch, who is the chairman of Fox Corporation.

Although Fox Corporation is a publicly traded company, the Murdoch family has a controlling interest in the company through the family trust. This gives them the power to elect the board of directors and make major decisions about the company’s direction. 

Founding and Early Ownership of Fox News

Fox News was founded by media mogul Rupert Murdoch and Republican Party operative Roger Ailes. The network was launched on October 7, 1996. Rupert Murdoch’s company, News Corporation (now known as 21st Century Fox), was the parent company of Fox News.

Rupert Murdoch had a long history in media ownership and had previously acquired several newspapers and television stations. He saw a gap in the cable news market for a network that would provide a conservative-leaning perspective, as many media outlets at the time were perceived to have a more liberal bias. Murdoch believed that there was an underserved audience that would respond to a news network with a more conservative slant.

Roger Ailes, a veteran television executive and media consultant who had worked with Republican political figures like Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush, was tapped to be the founding CEO of Fox News. Ailes played a significant role in shaping the network’s programming, presentation, and political orientation.

Fox News quickly gained attention for its bold and often controversial programming style. The network’s tagline “Fair and Balanced” was often criticized by some for what they saw as a conservative bias in the network’s reporting and commentary.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation owned most of Fox News when it was launched, giving him significant influence over the network’s direction and programming. Over time, the network became a major player in the cable news landscape, achieving high ratings and amassing a large and dedicated viewership, particularly among conservative audiences.

Ownership Transition of Fox News

In December 2017, 21st Century Fox, the former parent company of Fox News, announced that it was exploring a sale of the company. The Murdoch family, which controlled 21st Century Fox, was interested in selling the company in order to focus on its other businesses, such as The Wall Street Journal and The Times of London.

The Walt Disney Company announced that it was offering to acquire 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion. The deal was seen as a major coup for Disney, as it would give the company control of several valuable assets, including Fox News, Fox Sports, and the National Geographic Channel.

However, the deal faced opposition from several regulators, including the US Department of Justice. The DOJ argued that the deal would give Disney too much power in the media industry and could lead to higher consumer prices.

In June 2018, Disney and 21st Century Fox reached a revised deal that addressed the DOJ’s concerns. The revised agreement included the sale of Fox’s regional sports networks to a third party.

As part of the deal, Fox News and other Fox cable networks were spun off into a new company called Fox Corporation. The Murdoch family retained control of Fox Corporation. Consequently, the parent company of Fox News is no longer 21st Century Fox, which Disney acquired in 2019. The parent company of Fox News is now Fox Corporation.

IPO of Fox Corporation

The initial public offering (IPO) of Fox Corporation took place on March 19, 2019. The company was spun off from 21st Century Fox as part of the latter’s acquisition by The Walt Disney Company. Fox Corporation raised $2.8 billion in its IPO. The shares were listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbols “FOX” and “FOXA.” The IPO was the largest ever by a US media company. It was also the first significant IPO since the financial crisis of 2008.

The IPO was well-received by investors. The company’s market capitalization was about $50 billion during the IPO. The proceeds from the IPO were used to pay down debt and fund strategic investments. Fox Corporation also used the proceeds to repurchase some of its outstanding shares.

The IPO of Fox Corporation was a major event in the media industry. It marked the end of an era for 21st Century Fox, which had been a major player in the entertainment industry for decades. It also marked the beginning of a new era for Fox Corporation, which is now a standalone company focused on news and sports.

Top Institutional Shareholder of Fox Corporation

The top institutional shareholders of Fox Corporation, which owns Fox News, are:

The Vanguard Group, Inc.

The Vanguard Group owns about 6.58% of the company’s shares. Vanguard is one of the world’s largest and most well-known investment management companies. It is known for its focus on low-cost index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Vanguard’s founder, John Bogle, was a pioneer in advocating for passive investing strategies that aim to match the performance of a market index rather than actively trying to outperform it. Vanguard’s approach has made it a favorite among investors seeking diversified, cost-effective, and long-term investment options.

Dodge & Cox

Dodge & Cox owns about 4.98% of the company’s shares. Dodge & Cox is an investment management firm that specializes in actively managed mutual funds. The company was founded in 1930 and is known for its value-oriented investment philosophy. Dodge & Cox aims to invest in companies that it believes are undervalued by the market and have strong long-term growth potential. Their funds are popular among investors looking for active management and a value-focused approach.

Yacktman Asset Management LP

Yacktman Asset Management LP owns about 3.72% of the company’s shares. Yacktman is an investment firm known for its focus on selecting high-quality, undervalued companies for investment. The firm’s founder, Donald Yacktman, is known for his disciplined and contrarian approach to investing. Yacktman’s funds typically hold a concentrated portfolio of large-cap stocks and are known for their relatively low turnover and long-term perspective.

SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (State Street Global Advisors)

SSgA Funds Management, Inc., owns about 3.31% of the company’s shares. State Street Global Advisors is a division of State Street Corporation and one of the largest global asset management companies. SSgA is known for its role in creating the first exchange-traded fund (ETF), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY). The company offers a wide range of investment products and strategies catering to various investor needs, including index funds, active funds, and ETFs.

BlackRock Fund Advisors

BlackRock Fund Advisors owns about 3.30% of the company’s shares. BlackRock is one of the world’s largest investment management firms, offering a broad array of investment solutions and services. The company is known for its size and influence in the financial industry, offering both passive and active investment strategies across various asset classes.

Individual Shareholders of the Fox Corporation

No individual shareholders own more than 5% of the shares of Fox Corporation in their own names. However, some members of the Murdoch family own significant shares through the Murdoch Family Trust. These individuals include the following:

Rupert Murdoch

Rupert Murdoch is the patriarch of the Murdoch family. He is the founder and chairman of News Corp., one of the world’s largest media companies. He is also the owner of Fox Corporation, which is a major media and entertainment company. Murdoch is a controversial figure who has been criticized for his conservative political views and ownership of media outlets accused of bias.

Lachlan Murdoch 

Lachlan Murdoch is the eldest son of Rupert Murdoch. He was born in London in 1971 and grew up in New York. He attended Princeton University and then worked for his father’s company, News Corp., in a variety of roles. In 2005, he left News Corp. to start his own investment firm, Illyria Capital.

However, he returned to News Corp. in 2014 and was named CEO of 21st Century Fox. In 2019, he became the executive chairman and CEO of Fox Corporation, which was formed after the spin-off of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets.

Elisabeth Murdoch

Elisabeth Murdoch is the youngest child of Rupert Murdoch. She was born in Sydney in 1968 and grew up in New York. She attended Harvard University and then worked as a film producer. In 2001, she founded Shine Group, a media and entertainment company. Shine Group was sold to 21st Century Fox in 2011. Elisabeth Murdoch is a philanthropist and is involved in many charitable organizations.

James Murdoch

James Murdoch is the youngest son of Rupert Murdoch. He was born in London in 1972 and grew up in New York. He attended Harvard University and then worked for his father’s company, News Corp., in a variety of roles. In 2007, he was named CEO of News International, the British newspaper division of News Corp. However, he resigned from that position in 2012 after the phone hacking scandal at News International. James Murdoch is currently the CEO of Lupa Systems, a private investment firm.

How is Fox News Governed and Controlled?

Fox News is governed and controlled by the Fox Corporation, which is a publicly-traded company. The Fox Corporation itself is governed by a board of directors responsible for setting the company’s policies and making major decisions.

The Murdoch family has the authority to appoint individuals to the board of directors, with some members being chosen by other shareholders. This practice allows them to select candidates who align with their perspectives and interests. 

The Fox Corporation has a management team responsible for the company’s day-to-day operations. The management team is led by CEO Lachlan Murdoch. The management team is responsible for implementing the policies set by the board of directors and for ensuring that Fox News meets its financial goals.

While Fox Corporation owns Fox News, Fox News has its own management team, which is led by Suzanne Scott. This means that Fox News has some degree of autonomy from Fox Corporation. Fox News is also governed by a code of ethics designed to ensure that the network’s reporting is fair and accurate. The code of ethics prohibits the network from engaging in biased reporting or making misleading statements. 

However, there have been concerns that the code of ethics is not always enforced. In recent years, there have been several lawsuits filed against Fox News, alleging that the network has engaged in biased reporting. In 2021, two voting machine companies sued Fox News for defamation, alleging that the network’s hosts and guests knowingly promoted falsehoods that voting machines were rigged to deny Donald Trump’s reelection in the 2020 presidential election.

The case is still pending. The allegations of bias against Fox News have led to calls for the network to be regulated by the government. However, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the freedom of the press, and it is unlikely that the government will be able to regulate Fox News’s content. Ultimately, the governance and control of Fox News rest with the Murdoch family and the other shareholders of the Fox Corporation. 

Impact of The Murdoch Family’s Control on Fox Corporation

The Murdoch family’s control of Fox Corporation has had a significant impact on the company’s news coverage. The family’s conservative political views have been reflected in the company’s news outlets, which have been accused of bias toward conservative viewpoints — for example, Fox News Channel has been criticized for its perceived bias toward conservative perspectives.

The channel has been accused of giving favorable coverage to Republican politicians and of downplaying stories that are critical of the Republican Party. The Murdoch family’s control of Fox Corporation has uniquely shaped the media landscape, politics, and public discourse in ways that might not have occurred under different ownership. Moreover, the Murdoch Family has been instrumental in driving the following key impacts:

Conservative Media and Political Influence

The Murdoch family’s history of conservative leanings and deliberate strategic decisions have cultivated an environment at Fox Corporation that prioritizes and amplifies conservative viewpoints.

While other media owners could have chosen different editorial directions, the Murdochs’ strong alignment with traditional values has been a driving force behind Fox News becoming a prime vehicle for advancing those perspectives. Their ownership has provided a consistent platform for conservative narratives and ideas, shaping public perceptions of key issues.

Polarization of Media and Society

The Murdoch family’s approach to programming decisions and content selection, emphasizing sensationalism and opinion-based reporting, has significantly contributed to the polarization of society.

While diverse media ownership might have resulted in a wider spectrum of viewpoints, the Murdochs’ deliberate focus on catering to a specific ideological audience has exacerbated the division between political and social groups. This unique emphasis on catering to a specific demographic has deepened the divide in ways that may have been less pronounced under different ownership.

Influence on Political Agenda

While media ownership can indeed influence political agendas, the Murdoch family’s control of Fox Corporation has been exceptional in its reach and impact. The Murdochs’ close relationships with conservative politicians, strategic programming decisions, and alignment with specific policy priorities have made Fox News a dominant force in shaping the conservative political agenda. Only a few other media owners can have the same level of influence or commitment to advancing specific political goals.

 Promotion of Controversial Figures

The Murdoch family’s decisions regarding which figures to elevate and provide a platform have played a critical role in promoting controversial voices within conservative circles. Their ownership’s clear willingness to feature and normalize fringe ideas has furthered the integration of these ideas into mainstream discourse. While other owners could have avoided such extreme figures, the Murdochs’ ownership has allowed these perspectives to gain prominence and credibility among conservative audiences.

Impact of Institutional Shareholders on Fox News

Corporate Governance

Institutional shareholders, due to their significant ownership stakes, have the power to influence Fox News’ corporate governance practices. They often demand increased transparency, ethical conduct, and accountability from the company’s management and board of directors. This pressure can lead to improvements in governance structures, ensuring that decisions are made in the best interests of shareholders.

Financial Performance

Institutional investors prioritize financial returns. Their involvement can drive Fox News to focus on revenue generation and cost management. The pressure to deliver consistent financial growth can lead to strategies aimed at maximizing advertising revenue, optimizing distribution deals, and capitalizing on new revenue streams.

Long-Term Strategy

Institutional shareholders tend to take a long-term view of their investments. This influence can encourage Fox News to adopt strategies that ensure sustainable growth and value creation over time. For instance, they might advocate for investments in digital transformation or expansions into new markets to diversify revenue sources.

ESG Considerations

Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors are increasingly important to institutional investors. Their engagement can compel Fox News to address issues like diversity, environmental impact, and social responsibility. Failure to address ESG concerns can lead to reputational damage and impact the company’s valuation.

Content and Programming

While institutional shareholders do not directly influence editorial decisions, they can voice concerns about content that might negatively affect the company’s reputation or financial performance. For example, controversial programming could lead to public backlash, impacting advertisers and viewership.

Who is the CEO of Fox News?

The current CEO of Fox News is Suzanne Scott. She was appointed to the position in May 2018, making her the first woman to lead the network. Scott has been with Fox News for over 20 years and has held a variety of positions, including president of programming and executive vice president of news. Suzanne Scott graduated from American University in Washington, DC, in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism.

Scott is a controversial figure, but she is also a successful businesswoman. She has been praised for her leadership and her ability to navigate the challenges facing the media industry. Here are some of the things that Suzanne Scott has done as CEO of Fox News:

Managed Fox News’ Ongoing Status as the Top-rated Cable News Network in the U.S.

Fox News has been the most-watched cable news network in the United States for over two decades. Under Scott’s leadership, the network has continued to grow its audience and its reach. In 2022, Fox News averaged 2.5 million viewers daily, making it the most-watched cable news network for the 20th consecutive year.

Launching Several New Initiatives

Under Scott’s leadership, the network has launched several new initiatives, including the streaming service Fox Nation and the podcast network Fox News Audio. Fox Nation is a subscription-based streaming service that offers original programming from Fox News personalities and journalists.

Fox News Audio is a podcast network that produces and distributes podcasts from Fox News hosts and contributors. Both of these initiatives have been successful, and they have helped Fox News expand its reach to new audiences.

Defending the Network Against Accusations of Bias and Misinformation

Fox News has been accused of bias and misinformation in its political news coverage. Scott has defended the network against these accusations, arguing that Fox News is simply providing a platform for different viewpoints. However, she has also acknowledged that the network has made mistakes, and she has pledged to improve its accuracy and transparency.

Promoting Diversity and Inclusion Within the Network’s Workforce

Fox News has been criticized for its lack of diversity in its workforce. Scott has pledged to make the network more diverse and inclusive, and she has taken steps to do so, such as hiring more women and people of color. However, the network still has a long way to go to achieve true diversity and inclusion.


While Fox Corporation serves as the public face of Fox News’ ownership, the true extent of control and influence reaches far more profound. The undeniable influence wielded by the Murdoch family, owing to their substantial ownership stake, is a powerful force guiding the network’s trajectory.

Nonetheless, this influence is only one facet within a larger mosaic of ownership. The landscape of ownership becomes more intricate when we factor in the broader array of shareholders. These stakeholders collectively play a pivotal role in shaping the network’s overarching objectives, content direction, and editorial stance.



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