News Corp Wisely Realizes Religion is Entertainment
News Corp, the media conglomerate that brought the world topless Page 3 girls, has found religion on the internet.
The company, headed by Rupert Murdoch, yesterday announced that its Fox Entertainment Group had acquired Beliefnet, a website devoted to spirituality and religion.
Fox, which declined to disclose terms of the deal, views the acquisition as a way to expand its reach among another fast-growing community on the internet. The company cited statistics from the Pew Internet Project indicating that 82m Americans use the internet to address faith-related matters and estimated the market for spiritual DVDs, books and other materials at more than $8bn.
“It’s a segment that’s huge and still growing,” said Dan Fawcett, president of Fox Entertainment.
Actions speak louder than words. For all their bluster and right-wing politics at Fox News, News Corp is also a huge force in a broad spectrum of entertainment, much of it not friendly to so-called “family values.” Now they are diversifying and extending their reach. A substantial portion of America’s entertainment dollars are spent supporting religion, and they want to be a part of that.
Given the current climate, it’s clearly a sharp business move. The Parents Television Council and other traditional enemies of Fox’s TV sex and violence are bound to be confounded by the fact that with Fox Faith, Fox Family, and now Beliefnet, News Corp is smoothly playing to both sides in the culture war. This is in total accordance with Law 20 from the 48 Laws of Power, “Do Not Commit to Anyone.” The action shows Murdoch once again to be the master strategist and Bozell, Boone and company as whining, clueless, and increasingly irrelevant.