Nov 8, 2017

Murdochs weigh break-up of media empire

Photo: Jason Reed, Pool / AP

"Talks with Disney over sale of key TV and movie assets could signal end of an era for the media moguls," per the Financial Times,

Why it matters: "The Murdochs have started a process that could lead to the dismantling of a company that took decades to assemble."

The juice:

  • "Rupert Murdoch is not used to hoisting the white flag of surrender. Yet his willingness to explore a break-up of 21st Century Fox and discuss the sale of prime film and television assets to Walt Disney suggests that, at the age of 86, the media mogul may have lost his appetite for a fight."
  • "The talks were initiated by Disney and its chief executive, Bob Iger."
  • "[B]y even entertaining the discussions, Mr Murdoch and his sons, Lachlan and James, have effectively put Fox on the block, a target for content-hungry companies such as Verizon, the telecoms group, and the John Malone-backed Charter Communications."
  • "The media landscape is already in a period of profound structural change. ... Still, the prospect of Mr Murdoch and his sons contemplating a sale of Fox's prized movie studio, cable channels and international investments — such as Sky — has stunned investors."

Go deeper

HBCUs are missing from the discussion on venture capital's diversity

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Venture capital is beginning a belated conversation about its dearth of black investors and support of black founders, but hasn't yet turned its attention to the trivial participation of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) as limited partners in funds.

Why it matters: This increases educational and economic inequality, as the vast majority of VC profits go to limited partners.

Unemployment rate falls to 13.3% in May

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 13.3% in May, with 2.5 million jobs gained, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The far better-than-expected numbers show a surprising improvement in the job market, which has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic.

The difficulty of calculating the real unemployment rate

Data: U.S. Department of Labor; Note: Initial traditional state claims from the weeks of May 23 and 30, continuing traditional claims from May 23. Initial PUA claims from May 16, 23, and 30, continuing PUA and other programs from May 16; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The shocking May jobs report — with a decline in the unemployment rate to 13.3% and more than 2 million jobs added — destroyed expectations of a much worse economic picture.

Why it matters: Traditional economic reports have failed to keep up with the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic and have made it nearly impossible for researchers to determine the state of the U.S. labor market or the economy.