After 18-years jointly operating the National Geographic Channels, the National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox announced Wednesday that they are expanding their partnership to create a new media company, National Geographic Partners, to combine the channels with the society’s other media assets, such as National Geographic magazine, National Geographic Studios, book and map publishing, and more.
“This expanded partnership, bringing together all of the media and consumer activities under the National Geographic umbrella, one of the most treasured names in the world, creates vast opportunities and enables this business to be even more successful in a digital environment,” said James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox. “We believe in the Society’s mission of bringing the world to audiences through science, education, and exploration… We’re very excited and honored to work with the Society’s extraordinary explorers, scientists, and visual storytellers to propel their incredible work to audiences around the globe.”
21st Century Fox will own 73% of National Geographic Partners, and the Society, which will remain an independent nonprofit, will own the balance. The deal, valued at $725 million, pushes the Society’s endowment to more than $1 billion, enabling the organization to nearly double its investment in an array of science, research, and education programs.
Plans include the creation of the National Geographic Grosvenor Center for Education, dedicated to improving the geographic skills of high school students, and the establishment of Centers of Excellence in Cartography, Journalism and Photography, which will develop and fund innovations in exploration, mapping and story-telling. Declan Moore, a 20-year veteran of the Society currently serving as Chief Media Officer, has been appointed CEO of National Geographic Partners.
“The expansion of our nearly two decade partnership with 21st Century Fox is another milestone for The National Geographic Society, which for much of its 127 years has sponsored groundbreaking scientists and explorers and shared the knowledge and wonder with the world, using the best and most creative media platforms of each era,” said Gary Knell, President and CEO of the National Geographic Society. “We now will have the scale and reach to continue to fulfill our mission long into the future.”
For more information, view the press release.