Since 1888, National Geographic magazine has been the official journal of the non-profit National Geographic Society headquartered in Washington, D.C. Starting today, however, the magazine won’t be non-profit like the society is.
The National Geographic Society just announced that it has signed a major agreement with 21st Century Fox. In exchange for $725 million, Fox will own 73% of National Geographic’s media properties. That means the iconic yellow-bordered magazine is now very much for-profit.
A new joint venture called National Geographic Partners will be created as part of the deal, and it’ll be an umbrella company that owns National Geographic TV channels, National Geographic magazines, National Geographic Studios, and other businesses as well (e.g. media, travel, entertainment, licensing, and ecommerce).
National Geographic Society will own 27% of the new company, while 21st Century Fox will own the lion’s share of 73%. The Society’s endowment will increase to roughly $1 billion through the deal.
The Society actually began partnering with Fox back in 1997 to launch the National Geographic Channel, which quickly became the crown jewel of the National Geographic Society portfolio. After 18-years, Fox is now going beyond operating the TV channel for the Society and will now co-own the iconic magazine as well.
“The expansion of our nearly two decade partnership with 21st Century Fox is another milestone for The National Geographic Society, says Gary Knell, the President and CEO of the Society. “We now will have the scale and reach to continue to fulfill our mission long into the future.”