News Corp rolls back plans Fox News-style channel in UK
News Corp. is rolling back plans to create a Fox News-style TV channel in the United Kingdom, The Guardian reported Tuesday, and is sending the head of the project, former CBS News President David Rhodes, back to the U.S.
“Over the past 18 months, we have been exploring the opportunities in the TV market for content from News UK,” wrote Rebekah Brooks, the CEO of the News Corp. division News UK in a memo obtained by The Guardian.
“We determined early on in that review that it was not commercially viable to launch a traditional news channel on linear TV,” she added. “Whilst there is consumer demand for alternative news provision, the costs of running a rolling news channel are considerable, and it is our assessment that the payback for our shareholders wouldn’t be sufficient.”
News UK operates the tabloid The Sun and newspapers The Times and The Sunday Times, among other businesses.
News Corp. did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill, and Brooks could not be reached for comment.
News Corp. received approval for the news channel last December and had brought over Rhodes — who worked at Fox News earlier in his career — in March 2020, according to his LinkedIn profile.
While there is “consumer demand for more news-based programming” and “News UK has trusted and well-known brands,” Brooks wrote, the company will instead focus on online video services which are becoming increasingly popular “amongst all age-groups.”
Rhodes, Brooks said, will leave News UK in June but “will remain involved with News Corp on its investments in streaming news media.” Fox News Media launched its streaming service “Fox Nation” in the fall of 2018.
Brooks has worked for News Corp. since 1989, when she started as a feature writer for the tabloid News of the World.
She eventually became editor of that paper and The Sun and was involved in the phone hacking scandal of the mid-2000s in which journalists at News of the World were accused of illegally tapping phones and bribing police for information.
News Corp shut down News of the World in the wake of the scandal.
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