When Murdoch set out to find a buyer for his Fox entertainment assets, he did so because he understood he needed greater scale for the company to have longterm value. As companies like Netflix were becoming dominant globally, Fox either needed to downsize as a company or dramatically boost its scale. Murdoch opted to exit the business and sell the assets instead to Disney.
What he still has in his portfolio are the sports and news aspects of the business. Under the Fox business he retained Fox broadcast network, Fox News, and Fox Sports (along with a handful of other assets), while under News Corp he has what are largely print news assets: The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, News UK, the New York Post, Realtor.com, HarperCollins, and as an outlier, the Australian pay-TV company Foxtel.
As per reporting in the Murdoch-owned The Wall Street Journal (establishing that this is pretty much a 100% going to happen story), Murdoch is looking to once again combine the two entities.
Why would he do this: It comes back to scale. What he has left is news and sports, just fractured across different publishing/distribution companies. All of those assets are stronger combined as they offer greater back-room synergies and cross-promotional opportunities. The question I have is how much this opens up the rest of Murdoch's businesses to the stresses associated with public backlash against Fox News?
Despite protest campaigns to boycott Fox News and other regular public scoldings, Fox News remains hugely profitable. Will being under the one roof see the other Murdoch assets impacted? Probably not. As both the success of Fox News and another (former) Murdoch asset The Simpsons has taught me through life: there are no repurcussions and nothing matters.
Cookie Monster by choice, not by name
It wasn't as if he was born 'Cookie Monster', it is more an honoriffic.
Australian pub rock trivia game show RocKwiz is returning for a new season, leaving its acestral home of SBS and moving to Foxtel. Original host Julia Zemiro and announcer Brian Nankervis will return, alongside a new band and a new runtime of just 30 mins per episode.
My Twitter feed has had a whole lot of folks complaining about how they aren't happy that the show is now on Foxtel. I'd counter and suggest that considering that SBS hasn't produced a new episode since June 2016, this seems like the only way the show was ever coming back to TV.
Good news that it is coming back. I wouldn't think a show like this would be much of a subscription driver for Foxtel, but good on Marsh and the team over there for giving the rather excellent game show a heartbeat once more.
- Channel 4's Spirited Studios is working on a TV series about UK 90s culture mag Loaded - expect a whole lot of drugs and britpop. Read: Deadline
- Nesrine Malik writes that the reason GB News and Talk TV is floundering in the UK market isn't due to a lack of interest in right-wing politics, but rather because the market is over-saturated. Read: The Guardian
- The challenges of adapting Sesame Street to Russia. Read: NY Post
- She has hit the bigtime. A Bluey balloon will feature in the 96th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Read: TV Tonight
- Joel McHale will star in a new animal control workplace comedy titled Animal Control. Apologies to those who are still suffering PTSD from 2012 workplace comedy Animal Practice. Read: THR
- The Apple VR headset will reportedly have iris tracking that will facilitate unlocking the device and payments, along with leg tracking which won't help you pay for a single thing. Read: Upload VR
- Bel Air is set to get its fourth showrunner with its second season. Read: THR
- RIP Cracker star Robbie Coltrane. Read: Variety
- Operation: Kickboxer is a TV series in the works that continues on the Jean-Claude Van Damme franchise Kickboxer. Maybe now they can resolve all those unresolved questions we all have. Read: Deadline
- A Gangs of New York TV series, focused on characters not in the movie, is in development with Marty Scorsese set to direct multiple episodes. Yeah, I called him Marty. Read: Deadline
Wild Is The Wind debuts on Netflix at a date TBA.
House Party (yep, a remake) debuts Dec 9 on HBO Max.
That's it for today. And now on with the week!