How Fall of Ailes Could Impact 21CF Shareholders




My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we look at an interesting topic: With so much focus on the salacious details of Roger Ailes’ sexcapades / harassment scandal, I wanted to turn my focus to the company’s business prospects. Specifically, what might be the impact of Ailes’ forced departure from Fox News on the business? What could this mean for the company’s revenues, profits, and stock price?

The print version had the full headline What the Ailes troubles could mean for 21st Century Fox’s business — a primer for shareholders, while the online version was How Fall of Ailes Could Impact Shareholders.

Its worth noting this was a little different from my regular sort of column. Given the subject matter, it was heavily vetted by the Washington Post’s legal department. (I would say over-lawyered, but better safe than sorry seems to be WaPo’s approach). You can see the fingerprints of non writer’s in places where the column reads a bit stiff or stilted.

My original version was more speculative — I am hypothesizing about future management changes and the impact on its business, a speculative opinion at best. But it is worth exploring to buyers/holders of individual names, and I was hoping to provoke lines of thought amongst existing and potential shareholders that might not had been previously considered.

Here’s an excerpt from the column:

“With so much else coming clear, a material question remains: How does the fall of Ailes, so instrumental in turning Fox News into a media behemoth and a profit powerhouse, affect 21st Century Fox going forward?.”

The five areas I suggest worth exploring are:

• Shareholder litigation
• Broadcast lineup
• Succession planning
• Demographics
• Competition (CNN + possible Trump TV)

Each of those are explored in the column — go check it out.


What the Ailes troubles could mean for 21st Century Fox’s business — a primer for shareholders
Barry Ritholtz
Washington Post, September 11, 2016

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