Recent News

Team Rubicon Disaster Relief Fox

Photo courtesy Team Rubicon

As Puerto Rico continues to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Maria in September, Fox Networks Group is set to unveil a new documentary series about the nonprofit Team Rubicon and its disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico, the continental United States, and beyond. The series will air in short segments across FNG’s full portfolio, including FOX Broadcasting, FX, National Geographic, and FOX Sports. Each installment will highlight the organization’s relief operations, which include the provision of clean water and medical care. The program will culminate in a feature length documentary set to air on FNG channels next spring.

“At Fox Networks Group, we love to tell stories that entertain but also stories that inspire,” said Joe Rockhill, VP of Integrated Sales & Marketing at FNG. “We have these incredible storytellers across our portfolio that always latch onto inspirational stories, and… ultimately we wanted to tell the story of the men and women who are part of Team Rubicon, the heroes that are helping rebuild these communities and bringing help where help is needed.”

Academy Award-nominated director Kief Davidson will helm the project, which will air across FNG channels throughout the rest of the fall season, including during the Daytona 500, the World Series, and Thanksgiving and Christmas NFL games on FOX Sports. FX featured the documentary shorts during its Veteran’s Day programming initiative. The months-long effort also represents an opportunity for brands to get involved and connect with their customers on the causes that matter to them.

“The idea is to showcase the different parts of Team Rubicon, what they’re doing across the U.S. and the world, and help bring those stories to life in an interesting way,” Rockhill said. “We can use the awareness that we have and the audiences we have to help tell those stories and make sure people aren’t forgotten.”

Team Rubicon pairs American military veterans with disaster relief projects both within the U.S. and internationally. The organization is currently leading efforts to provide aid to victims of the recent California wildfires and Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas. In Puerto Rico, their activities include delivering medical care and supplies, clearing debris within communities and on transit roads, and distributing clean drinking water.

Learn more about Team Rubicon, including their relief efforts in the U.S. and around the world.


Women STEM Leaders Hidden Figures Exchange

As part of ongoing efforts to advance the engagement of women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), in collaboration with 21st Century Fox the U.S. Department of State launched #HiddenNoMore, an educational exchange program inspired by the Fox 2000 film Hidden Figures. The program brought a distinguished group of young women leaders in STEM from 48 countries to the United States for three weeks this October. #HiddenNoMore marks the first time in the history of the State Department that a Hollywood movie has led to the creation of a publicly funded education exchange program.

“It was clear to us from an early point that the film Hidden Figures was something extraordinary,” said Chip Smith, EVP of Public Affairs and Policy at 21CF, at a welcome lunch for the Hidden No More participants in Washington, D.C. “As participants of the International Visitor Leadership Program, you represent your home nations, and the key lesson of the film: that with courage and conviction, no barriers are too great to be overcome.”

The trip kicked off with a day at National Geographic headquarters in Washington, DC, including a screening of Hidden Figures, presentations from Susan Goldberg, National Geographic Magazine Editor in Chief, and Emerging Explorer Katy Croff, and a tour of the National Geographic museum. Three weeks later, 21CF also hosted the trip’s grand finale: a jam-packed day on the Fox Studio Lot designed to highlight women’s leadership, the role of science and technology in the entertainment business, and the transformative power of storytelling. The day’s program included tours of the lot and studio archives; a behind-the-scenes look at virtual reality projects in development at the Fox Innovation Lab; panel discussion and networking with Women in Technology at 21CF; speakers including Vanessa Morrison, Head of Fox Family, Powtawche Valerino, Navigation Engineer from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Margarita Marinova, Senior Mars Development Engineer at SpaceX.

Hidden No More Women STEM Fox

In between, the 48 participants – many of whom are credited with impressive “firsts” in their countries and their fields – traversed the US in smaller groups, visiting labs, schools, start-ups, and other loci of innovation in Albequerque NM, Chicago IL, Greensboro NC, Lincoln NE, Louisville KY, Pensacola FL, Seattle WA, Syracuse NY, Tulsa OK, to explore best practices in the effective recruitment, training, and development of women and other underrepresented groups in STEM and learn how they might institutionalize opportunities for women in their own countries.

The film Hidden Figures depicts the untold story of three female African American mathematicians working at NASA during the Space Race of the 1960s, as well as their role in sending the first American astronaut into orbit. Since its release in December 2016, the film has become a rallying cry for diversity in STEM, inspiring a scholarship contest, free screenings for community organizations, and classroom guides. The State Department received so many requests from international embassies that it arranged an unprecedented 120 screenings. It was this groundswell of demand for Hidden Figures and its story which led the State Department to design a special IVLP program linked to the film for women in STEM across the globe. And the programming will continue with a #HiddenNoMore virtual book club for US embassies and consulates abroad.

“If you ask Google ‘What is a programmer?’ you will see only men, so the stereotypes are all around the world,” said Sofia Contreras of Argentina, who participated in #HiddenNoMore. “You can’t be what you can’t see, and we need strong women role models in order to identify with them.”

Learn about 21CF’s activations around Hidden Figures, and check out NPR’s interview with Persis Mbangsi, a chemical engineer in Cameroon, about her experience with #HiddenNoMore, which you can also find on Twitter and Instagram.

See more photos from the send-off event at the Fox Lot in the slideshow below:


national geographic photo ark EDGE fellowship

Photo by Joel Sartore

The National Geographic Society and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) have launched a new wildlife conservation program to protect lesser-known animal species at risk of extinction. The Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellowships will support on-the-ground efforts to save some of the creatures featured in the National Geographic Photo Ark, Joel Sartore’s ongoing project to photograph every animal species in human care. Fellows will train with National Geographic and ZSL on essential conservation skills, as well as storytelling strategies that will help raise awareness of the global extinction crisis. 21st Century Fox expanded its media partnership with the National Geographic Society in 2015, enhancing the organization's endowment and ensuring a portion of all future proceeds go toward the Society's scientific pursuits.

The first round of Fellowships will be awarded to candidates based in Latin America, and the five nominated candidates have already the chosen the species they will work work to save:

  • Jamal Galves, Belize: Antillean Manatee, Trichechus manatus manatus (IUCN Red List: Endangered);
  • Marina Rivero, Mexico: Baird’s Tapir, Tapirus bairdii (IUCN Red List: Endangered);
  • Vinicius Alberici Roberto, Brazil: Giant Anteater, Myrmecophaga tridactyla (IUCN Red List: Vulnerable);
  • Daniel Arauz, Costa Rica: Hawksbill Turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata (IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered); and
  • Yaijaira Garcia Feria, Mexico: Volcano Rabbit, Romerolagus diazi (IUCN Red List: Endangered).

In January and February 2018, these five candidates will attend a four-week Conservation Tools training course in Costa Rica, where world-class National Geographic photographers, editors, and digital video producers will instruct them in effective storytelling techniques. They will also receive training from ZSL’s EDGE of Existence program on the necessary skills to undertake successful conservation projects. After the training, with ongoing support from the National Geographic Society and EDGE of Existence, the Fellows will embark on their two-year conservation projects.

The Fellowships represent an evolution of the Nat Geo Photo Ark’s efforts to protect the 12,000 animal species at zoos, aquariums, and wildlife rehab centers. Many of these species no longer exist in the wild and would have become extinct were it not for these human care centers. Satore’s photo project, which he estimates will take roughly 25 years to complete, serves to create a detailed record of animal life and inspire nature-lovers around the world to do their part in helping save these species.

"I've been a National Geographic photographer for 27 years, and I photographed the first 15 years or so out in the wild doing different conservation stories, on wolves, on grizzly bears, on koalas all in the wild — and can I say that moved the needle enough to stop the extinction crisis? No, no it did not," Sartore said in an interview earlier this year. "So I just figured maybe very simple portraits lit exquisitely so you can see the beauty and the color, looking animals directly in the eye with no distractions would be the way to do it."

Visit NatGeoPhotoArk.org for updates on the program as the candidates head into the field for their training course and begin developing their action plans. In 2018, the next cohort of Nat Geo Photo Ark EDGE Fellows will be selected from Asia.


Chisom Mbonu-Ezeoke, FOX - Global Sports Mentoring

FOX Sports is participating in the Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP) for the first time this year. The initiative, launched by the U.S. Department of State, organizes one-month mentorships for emerging women leaders from around the world each year in the hopes of empowering them to better serve their local communities through the power of sport. Through Women of FOX Sports, FOX Sports is hosting accomplished Nigerian sports journalist Chisom Mbonu-Ezeoke, the first female anchor and sports analyst for SuperSport Nigeria.

One of this year’s 17 GSMP participants selected from a pool of about 100 women nominated by U.S. embassies located across the globe, Chisom has been spending time with Jennifer Pransky (Senior Coordinating Producer, Features, FOX Sports) and Lindsay Amstutz (SVP and General Manager of FOX Sports West and PrimeTicket, and FOX Sports San Diego). During her monthlong mentorship, Chisom is tasked with developing an action plan to address a specific challenge facing young women in Nigeria. While with the FOX Sports team, she will have opportunities to meet with executive leadership to gain new perspective that she can incorporate into both her action plan development and own career.

To kick off Chisom’s time with FOX Sports, the Women of FOX Sports hosted an event to showcase Chisom, alongside fellow GSMP Emerging Leader Carmen Pozo Rios (first female journalist in Bolivia), and Program Director Dr. Sarah Hillyer.

We recently spoke with Chisom to learn more about her journey, the role of sports in Nigeria’s culture and her action plan.

Chisom Mbonu-Ezeoke with FOX Sports

Getting noticed

Chisom ran track in high school and knew at a young age that she wanted to work in the sports industry. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English, Chisom knew she had to find a way to get noticed in an industry that didn’t take women seriously. So she went online and found a FIFA agent licensing program, which no woman in Nigeria had yet passed.

While Chisom had no interest in becoming an agent, she thought if she did that, it would get her noticed. So she took the exam and passed, becoming the first female FIFA-licensed agent.

“Suffice it to say that it got me the attention that I wanted,” she said.

The head of SuperSport Nigeria, one of the country’s largest media outlets, was one of the many people who noticed Chisom’s achievement. After a successful audition, she became the first female soccer analyst on SuperSport and remains the only female anchor on the network.

In her 10 years at SuperSport, Chisom has covered some of the biggest sporting events in the world, including the World Cup and the Olympics. She has also started her own production company, Fortem Lens, which aims to give African women the opportunity to tell stories and cover sports.

Journey to the GSMP

About seven years ago, Chisom received a call from the U.S. Embassy of Nigeria, which was running a program to empower schoolgirls. They said they thought she was a role model who should participate as a mentor.

"I can't really understand why, other than the fact that I seemed to be in a male-dominated world and doing OK,” Chisom said.

She took part in this program for two years and remained in contact with the U.S. Embassy. Then earlier this year, Chisom received another call – this time, the embassy nominated her to be mentored at the GSMP.

“It definitely fit into my plans, into my vision, into my goals in life.” Chisom said she took the nomination seriously and was “eternally grateful” when she was selected as a participant.

Sports in Nigeria

Nigeria is home to hundreds of tribes, languages and ethnic groups, and there are cultural divisions and issues among them. “The one time everybody comes together…is when the country is involved in a sporting competition,” Chisom said. “Once somebody puts on green and white, everyone comes together and we forget all the problems. Because of that, sports – especially football – is very massive in Nigeria.”

The Nigerian football team has 18 players from different parts of Nigeria, but when one of them makes a nice move on the pitch, everybody in the stadium cheers and chants his name. It’s these instances when Chisom realizes the power of sport in the nation.

Where some see a recreational activity, Chisom sees a unifying phenomenon that governments around the world should be tapping into. “We really need that right now.”

Chisom Mbonu-Ezeoke with FOX Sports

Action plan and personal takeaway

Chisom’s action plan, which has changed since she arrived at the GSMP, is to create a lasting positive impact in the lives of young girls in Nigeria. To do this, Chisom wants to bring a network of successful women from around the world to participate in a monthlong program, Fortem Inspire (“fortem” means brave in Latin), where they would spend two hours each Saturday and Sunday to mentor young women in Nigeria through the power of sport. She hopes mentees will learn how to overcome adversity, have self-respect, build leadership skills and embrace diversity in their home country.

"In the end, we want them to leave with a mind that has not been lost, to believe they can be whatever or whoever they want to be in life, without any hindrances,” Chisom said.

During her time with FOX Sports through the GSMP, Chisom said she’s noticed a common thread in everyone she’s met: a support system that helped them build plans at a very young age. She now carries a desire to ensure her children, nephews, nieces and others in Nigeria have that too.

“It’s a new burden for me now.”


Galapagos Islands, National Geographic Partners

To celebrate Earth Month this past April, 21st Century Fox invited colleagues to take part in a unique photography competition in partnership with 21CF’s National Geographic on their Your Shot platform. The contest, judged by a Nat Geo photo editor, enoucraged 21CF colleagues around the world to submit their best nature photography and shots of action against climate change for a chance to win a free National Geographic Expedition trip, well as runner-up prizes of GoPro and Canon PowerShot cameras. The grand prize included a ten-day trip for two to the Galápagos Islands and the opportunity to explore its unique wildlife with the aid of a Nat Geo Expert.

Nat Geo has a longstanding partnership with Lindblad Expeditions, an alliance that has taken people out to explore the most remote and interesting places on the planet as active and mindful travelers. In August 2017, 21CF Earth Month contest grand prize winner Eric Barnes of FOX News Los Angeles set aboard the National Geographic Islander with his niece, Kailie, as well as other travelers and a team of Nat Geo and Lindblad photographers and naturalists who know the archipelago inside and out. “Snorkeling with turtles, sharks and sea lions was unbelievable, and their playfulness and curiosity made for fun photos and lots of smiles. It was amazing to see how these animals all live in harmony—being able to walk among them without feeling their fear or distrust was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before,” reflected Eric after his trip.

Check out highlights from Eric’s trip below, and follow @glotbalfotog on Instagram and Twitter for more of his photographic captures.