Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch Calls TMZ Buy “Very Modest”

Fox Corp. CEO says that the company’s roughly $50 million deal to buy TMZ was “very modest” in scale, but one that fits into the company’s overall acquisition strategy.

Praising TMZ’s digital presence, Murdoch told a Bank of America conference Tuesday that “when we look at TMZ, we see a business that we were not in, in terms fo celebrity or entertainment news, but can absolutely fit alongside all of our other brands and platforms, and can help drive it across the board.”

“What we look for in businesses is something that we can from a content or business model perspective, plug into our multiple platforms, where we can monetize them through entertainment, through news, through sports, and digital,” Murdoch added.

Murdoch also discussed Fox News, touting its ratings share, while noting that the company has been seeking to “build vehicles” for advertisers to buy time in, specifically calling out “non-opinion programming, lifestyle programming” and the upcoming Fox Weather streaming service. Murdoch said that lifestyle programming, such as the upcoming unscripted block on Fox Business Network, “are important to advertisers.”

As for the Fox Nation streaming service, Murdoch tempered expectations and any comparisons to the broad entertainment services being launched by other media companies, saying that Fox Nation is “very targeted” to Fox News super-fans.

“There is a super-fan market for that, but beyond that, you could see us get into other lifestyle and entertainment categories that resonate with our audience,” Murdoch said.

Meanwhile, carriage fees, which drive the bulk of Fox News’ revenue, will be coming up for renewal shortly, with more than two-thirds of its households coming up for renewal in 2022 and 2023. With pay-TV providers demanding tough terms, but Fox News proving popular with customers, it could make for tense negotiations.

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