News Corporation

News Corporation

News Corporation is the ultimate global owner of the Irish Sun, the Sunday Times Irish, FM 104, and Cork's 96. Although the newspaper publishing activities of News Corporation in Ireland are frequently identified with “News Ireland”, the only company with this specific name is entirely separate from News Corporation. As of the beginning of 2023, the only News Corporation newspaper company listed with the Irish Companies Records Office appears to be News UK and Ireland Trading Limited. The most record financial statement filed by this company described it as engaged in the “provision of personnel resources and administration services” to other members of the News UK group within the Republic of Ireland. Printed copies of the Irish Sun make no reference to the companies above. Instead they identify their publisher as News Group Newspapers Limited, headquartered at London Bridge Street, London. There are four intermediary owners between News Group Newspapers Limited and the ultimate global owner, News Corporation. The Murdoch Family owns the largest single shareholding in News Corporation. 

News Corporation in Ireland

Though rarely the dominant player in any individual Irish media market, at its peak News Corporation (or News and 21st Century Fox combined) occupied leading roles across the Irish television distribution, radio and television broadcasting and print markets. 

Television21st Century Fox’s 39.1% share in BSkyB made it a de facto monopolist in the Irish subscription satellite market. Similarly the shareholding in Sky Television as a broadcaster meant that its suite of channels maintained the third or fourth largest share of television audiences through the 2010s. (Sky Channel first became available to Irish cable subscribers from 1987 onwards.) Although that share has now transferred to Comcast after their acquisition of BSkyB in 2018, News Corporation maintains a significant presence in the commercial radio and print markets. 

RadioNews Corporation’s position in Irish radio came about as a result of its 2016 acquisition of the Wireless Group which owned stations in the UK and Ireland. The Wireless Group grew out of Talk Radio, an independent national station launched in the UK in 1995. In 1999, the station’s owner TalkCo rebranded itself (as The Wireless Group) and the station as TalkSport, the UK's first national commercial sports radio station. In 2005, Northern Ireland-based UTV Media purchased the entire Wireless Group (Talksport plus 22 other local commercial stations across the UK) for nearly £UK100m, adding them to UTV’s existing stations in the Republic of Ireland (Cork station C103 and Cork 96, Dublin’s Q102. LMFM and the Limerick station Treaty FM/Limerick Live.) UTV Media added FM104 to the group in 2008 making it the second largest commercial radio group in the Republic of Ireland after Denis O’Brien’s Communicorp.In October 2015 UTV Media sold its two television stations to ITV PLC. The remaining radio stations were retained as The Wireless Group until July 2016 when News UK, a News Corporation subsidiary acquired the Wireless Group’s UK and Irish operations for £UK220m. As of 2022, Wireless Radio (ROI) Limited remains a News Corporation subsidiary. The Managing director of the Irish operation is Sean Barry who joined the now Wireless-owned C96 radio station as Financial Controller in 2000 before being promoted to more senior roles within the Wireless Group after the UTV Media takeover in 2005. Wireless Radio (ROI) Limited reported losses of €2.6m in 2022 on the back of revenues of €22.1m in (of which €21.9m came from advertising). The company employed 201 as of close 2022 (down from 240 at the end of 2021). Wireless ROI sells advertising for its stations through its sales house Urban Media which also represents Galway Bay FM (owned by the Connacht Tribune) and WLR (owned by the Irish Times Group).

Print Although the UK editions of News Corporation’s print media have been available within the Republic of Ireland since the 1970s, the company made a concerted effort to target the Irish market from the late 1980s onwards, leading to the relaunch of The Sun as The Irish Sun in 1992 and an Irish edition of the Sunday Times in 1993. This led to the establishment of local offices in Dublin for both papers and recruitment of a significant number of local editorial staff. The investment had the desired impact on sales: The Sun increased from approximately 24,000 per day in 1987 to 107,000 per day by 2007, whilst the Sunday Times went from 50,000 each Sunday in 1992 to 114,000 by 2007. Although both papers suffered significant circulation and advertising revenue declines after 2008, for a period News Corporation remained bullish about prospects for the Irish market. In September 2015 it launched The Times Ireland under the editorship of Richie Oakley, initially as a digital-only product designed for consumption on tablet computers. New subscribers were offered an iPad for signing up, while the title announced a reduced subscription rate of €5 a month earlier this year. A print edition went on sale in June 2017 and the title added to the number of journalists it employed. By mid-2017 Times Ireland claimed to have built up 10,000 digital subscribers. However, this was apparently not sufficient to sustain the expanded operation. In June 2019, the print edition of the Times Ireland was discontinued, with more than 15 staff losing their jobs in the process.

In 2022, reflecting a general scaling back of operations within the Irish market, News Corporation announced that remaining journalists with The Sunday Times and The Irish Sun (along with Harper Collins Ireland staff) would move into shared office space with Wireless Radio Group in Macken House in the former Dublin Docks area.

Book PublishingIn 2020, Harper Collins opened an Irish imprint in a standalone office at the Watermarque Building on South Lotts Road in Dublin 4, having secured the services of commissioning editor Conor Nagle from the Irish publisher Gill. Harper Collins' arrival added to the presence in Ireland of other international publishers such as Penguin, Hachette and Transworld. However in April 2023 Nagle announced his intention to resign by the following October. Other staff subsequently announced their departure and as of Autumn 2023 it appears that the Irish imprint is effectively defunct. 


News Corporation’s History

The origins of News Corporation stretch back to James Edward Davidson’s 1923 establishment of News Limited as a publisher of anti-union content in Adelaide, South Australia. In 1951 Sir Keith Murdoch took a majority stake in News Limited and when he died a year later, the main title “The News” became the foundation upon which his son Rupert would build a network of provincial and suburban newspapers. He established Australia’s first national newspaper “The Australian” in 1964, the same year in which he made his first overseas acquisition, “The Dominion” in New Zealand. His first foray into the UK press market came with the acquisition of The News of the World in 1968, followed a year later by The Sun. In 1973, he bought his first US paper, The San Antonio Express News followed by the New York Post tabloid in 1976. In 1980 Murdoch established News Corporation in Australia as a holding company for News Limited. (The company would re-register as a US corporation in 2004.) Though News Corporation would extend its reach into continental Europe (acquiring the company that became Sky Italia in 2003) and Asia (most notably the Hong Kong-based Star TV in 1993), its main markets would remain Australia, the UK and the US. 

News Corporation moved into the UK television market in 1983 through its acquisition of a 65% stake in Satellite Television. Relaunched in 1984 as Sky Television and again as the Sky Television Network in 1989 (reflecting the launch of four Sky channels distributed via the Luxembourg registered Astra satellite). A further name change, to BSkyB, occurred in 1990 after the station merged with the UK-government licensed British Satellite Broadcasting. Though the station would become synonymous with subscription sports and movies channels as it expanded in the UK and Ireland through the 1990s and 2000s, it also relied on content from another News Corporation venture: Fox Television in the US.

In 1984, News Corporation had acquired 50% of 20th Century-Fox film studios (subsequently acquiring the remaining half). A year later News Corporation acquired the six-station Metromedia Television station.This would become the basis for the Fox Network, the first major challenger to the big three US broadcast networks since the 1950s. 

News Corporation continued to make acquisitions in all of its key media markets as it entered the 21st century. By 2010 News Corporation was a cross-media giant, earning profits of $2.6bn after tax on revenues of just under $32bn. These were generated by activities in filmed entertainment (20th Century Fox), television and cable network programming (the Fox Network and Fox News), direct broadcast satellite television (Sky), Newspapers (the UK Sun, the Australian, the Wall Street Journal) and book publishing (HarperCollins). 

Throughout their history, News Corporation outlets have tended to - overtly or otherwise - espouse a populist, right-of-centre political outlook - reflecting the leanings of Rupert Murdoch. This has led to close editorial associations with particular politicians: in the UK the Sun newspaper actively championed the Conservative Party under the leadership of Margaret Thatcher throughout the 1980s. Similarly, the New York Post supported Ronald Reagan’s successful run in the 1980 Presidential election and more recently Fox News backed Donald Trump throughout his presidency. Cogniscant of the influence of News Corporation’s outlets, politicians have often actively sought out the group’s support: in the UK, Tony Blair and David Cameron, the leaders of the Labour Party and Conservative Party actively courted NewsCorp prior to their respective election victories in 1997 and 2010. 

However, the 2022 version of News Corporation is a very different creature to the one Blair and Cameron ingratiated themselves with. Between 2005 and 2011, a number of News Corporation’s UK print titles were subjected to a sequence of court actions for breaches of privacy. It emerged that the News Of the World in particular had illegally accessed the phones of a number of high profile figures in British Society. The public response was such that in July 2011, the decision was taken to close the News of the World after 168-years of operation. The phone hacking case had long term impacts: by 2016 it had cost News Corporation more than £UK100m as the company sought to settle legal action. A number of senior executives in the UK print division were arrested (though few were ultimately convicted) and in July 2011 Rupert Murdoch and his son James - then executive chairman of News International - were summoned to the British parliament to account for the actions of their newspapers. In the same week, News Corporation announced that it was withdrawing a proposal to raise its stake in BSkyB to 100% citing the ongoing controversy.

The most significant outcome was the 2013 decision to split News Corporation into two new corporations (though Murdoch remained Chairman of both). One, the new News Corporation, retained most of the print-based operations while the other, 21st Century Fox inherited most of the audiovisual divisions. Though notionally driven by a desire to unlock hidden hitherto shareholder value, the split also distanced the media and entertainment side from the toxic association with the publishing division. 

The new companies remained ambitious. In 2014, 21st Century Fox launched a bid - ultimately unsuccessful - to acquire Time Warner for $US80bn. Two years later in 2016 21st Century Fox renewed its effort to acquire BSkyB - which it already owned 39.1% of - in its entirety. This second deal appeared to be a fait accompli, not least because Rupert Murdoch’s son James was simultaneously chairman of BSkyB and chief executive of Fox. A deal valuing BSkyB at £18.5bn was provisionally announced in December 2016 subject to regulatory approval. 

In the event, the attempt to fully acquire BSkyB set in train a chain of events that would significantly reduce the combined scale of the Rupert Murdoch’s holdings. Initially advice from the UK Competition suggested that the BSkyB acquisition should be subjected to a full-scale inquiry given News Corporation’s prominent position in both the UK newspaper sector and - after the acquisition of the Wireless Group in June 2016 - radio sector. Furthermore, non-Murdoch-related institutional shareholders in BskyB queried whether the 21st Century Fox deal offered them the best potential value. 

As the BSkyB acquisition stalled over summer 2017, matters were further complicated when it emerged that Disney was negotiating the purchase of most of 21st Century Fox’s key assets. (For competition reasons these did not include the Fox network as Disney already owned another US network.) Apparently the failure of the 2014 Time Warner acquisition bid convinced Fox executives that they could not match other screen media giants for scale and they decided to exit the market. Matters became even more complex when cable giant Comcast (owner of NBCUniversal) launched its own bid for the Fox assets.

In effect then, at a point when 21st Century Fox was seeking to buy BSkyB it was simultaneously seeking to negotiate the sale of most of its own assets (including potentially BSkyB). In the event both Disney and Comcast got something out of the deal. Although in 2019 Disney finalised a deal to acquire the 20th Century Fox film and television studios from 21st Century Fox, the deal did not include BSkyB. In 2018 while also bidding for the Fox assets, Comcast had separately outbid 21st Fox Century to take complete control of BSkyB. 

Those 21st Century Fox assets not acquired by Disney or Comcast (including Fox Broadcasting and Fox News) were organised into the new Fox Corporation, chaired by Rupert Murdoch with son Lachlan Murdoch as CEO. The net outcome of this is a substantially reduced media and entertainment company (Fox Corporation reported revenues of $13.9bn in 2022) yoked through the overlapping Murdoch Family shareholdings to the “new” News Corporation. The Murdoch Family Trust owns 42.1% of the Class B stock in Fox Corporation and 39.8% of News Corporation as of 2022 proxy statement filings. 

For its part News Corporation reported post-tax profits of $760m on revenues of $10.4bn in 2022. It remains focused on print media through its Dow Jones subsidiary (business news), HarperCollins (book publishing) and the operations of News Corp Australia, News UK and the New York Post. It also retains some interest in video services through the Foxtel Group in Australia and has developed a significant stake in the Australian and US digital real estate services market through the REA Group and Move respectively.

Key facts

Business Form


Legal Form


Business Sectors

Media; Property


Individual Owner

Media Outlets
Other Media Outlets

Other Print Outlets

UK & Ireland

The Sun and The Irish Sun

Other TV Outlets


Other Radio Outlets



Other Online Outlets




Real Estate

Move Inc (USA)

General Information

Founding Year


Affiliated Interests Founder

Rupert Murdoch

The Murdoch Family also holds the largest single shareholding in Fox Corporation which owns Fox News in the US.


News Corp

1211 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10036


Telephone: + 1 (0) 212 416 3400


Tax/ ID Number


Financial Information

Revenue (Financial Data/ Optional)

2022: $US10.375bn

Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

2022: $760m

Advertising (in % of total funding)

Missing Data


Executive Board

Lachlan Murdoch

is currently the Co-Chair of News Corporation and Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Corporation (FOX). He is due to replace his father Rupert as sole chair of News Corporation in November 2023.

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