Bigger seems to be better in the media world these days, from Rupert Murdoch's $5 billion bid for Dow Jones Co. to Thomson Corp.'s $17.2 billion merger with Reuters. In its first survey of top global media owners, London-based ZenithOptimedia ranks the world's largest by 2005 media revenues, the latest figures available. Media revenues are defined as those "deriving from businesses that support advertising, which would include not only advertising revenues, but also other monies such as those earned via circulation sales for newspapers or magazines, for example," said the report. Though many of those represented are media focused, others, such as General Electric, are conglomerates whose media divisions are relatively minor players in their operations. And, though some companies in the overall rankings are privately held, such as Advance Publications (owner of WWD), Hearst Corp. and Asahi Shimbun Co. (Japan), the top five from both the U.S. and Europe are publicly traded firms.
Media revenues (2005): $29.8 billion
Outdoing its closest competitor by $13 billion in media revenues is New York-based Time Warner. While its three TV subsidiaries, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Turner Broadcasting System and HBO continue to do relatively well, Time Warner's Internet business, AOL, remains beleaguered, as does its magazine division, Time Inc. The publisher of titles such as In Style, Time, People, Sports Illustrated and Fortune was forced to cut hundreds of jobs earlier this year as revenues slid. Time Inc. admitted it is pumping more investment into the Web versions of its titles than the print magazines. Time Inc.'s first-quarter revenues fell $15 million from a year ago to $1 billion due to restructuring charges and declines at certain titles.
What doesn't Rupert Murdoch own — or want to own? Murdoch is in the news again as he tries to snap up Dow Jones Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal, for $5 billion. He has been making the rounds to reassure Dow Jones shareholders the Journal would remain independent, although some believe he could use Dow Jones to provide content for his upcoming business news channel. According to the report, more than 100 newspaper titles, including the New York Post and London's The Sunday Times, fill the portfolio. TV properties include Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News Channel, Fox Cable Networks and a stake in British Sky Broadcasting (see below). Now it's big online, too, via its purchase of Intermix Media, owner of MySpace.GENERAL ELECTRIC
Founded originally as Edison Electric Light Co. by Thomas Alva Edison in 1878, GE is one of the largest companies in the world today and is run by Jeffrey Immelt. Though its portfolio consists mainly of industrial manufacturing, health care and finance, its division, NBC Universal, is a media and entertainment powerhouse. The division was formed in 2004 when GE's NBC operations merged with Vivendi Universal Entertainment. (Paris-based Vivendi remains a separate organization. See below.) The result? The NBC Network, MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, mun2, Bravo, Sci Fi, USA Network, and 12 channels in Europe and Latin America. NBC Universal also has an investment in ION Media Networks (formerly Paxson Communications).
The famed network has been taking a beating in the news lately, given its much ballyhooed recruitment of Katie Couric from the "Today" show to serve as its evening news anchor. But Couric remains in third place behind Charles Gibson of ABC and Brian Williams of NBC. Things have been better on the entertainment side with hit programs such as "CSI" and "Survivor." CBS also has a small share in the CW Network, which is a joint effort of both the former WB and UPN networks. In addition, the company owns Showtime, The Movie Channel and 39 local TV and radio stations, and its Outdoor division is the largest in North America, selling a range of displays, billboards, signs on public transportation and in-store kiosks.
WALT DISNEY COMPANY
Though Disney is probably best known for its theme parks worldwide, the report solely focused on its TV, radio, Internet and publishing businesses to derive its media revenue figure. Clearly, Disney's largest media property is ABC. Popular shows that have kept the network afloat as of late include "Grey's Anatomy" and "Dancing With the Stars," while "World News With Charles Gibson" is the most-watched evening news show. In addition, Disney owns 80 percent of ESPN, the sports channel (along with ESPN the Magazine), and the Disney Channel, and is a partner in the Lifetime Network channels, A&E Television Networks and others. The group also owns radio and Internet properties.BERTELSMANN
Headquartered in Germany, Bertelsmann is composed of six divisions: Gruner + Jahr (newspapers and magazines), RTL Group (TV and radio stations in Europe), BMG (music), Arvato (printing, IT services, etc.), Random House (books) and DirectGroup (book and music clubs). Only two of these — Gruner + Jahr and RTL Group — comprise the media revenues for this company. Gruner + Jahr, which pulled out of the U.S. market two years ago, boasts 150 magazine titles across 17 countries, along with five newspapers in Germany. Bertelsmann is a private company majority owned by the Bertelsmann Foundation, with remaining shares held by the founding Bertelsmann and Mohn families.
The U.K. satellite TV company is a product of a 1990 merger between Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting. One of the most popular channels in the U.K., BSkyB has boosted its viewership via sports with rights to broadcast FA Premier League soccer matches. But it also operates several other channels in the U.K. and Ireland. This year, BSkyB is planning to launch a broader video-on-demand service for its customers. Its Internet business is growing, especially after it made a bid in December for 365 Media Group, which runs a number of gambling and sports Web sites. News Corp. has a 38 percent stake in BSkyB, which is headed by ceo James Murdoch, the son of Rupert Murdoch.
After spinning off its movie studios, theme parks and cable networks to General Electric in April 2006, Paris-based Vivendi's media revenues "derive from its ownership of the Canal+ Group, which owns a 65 percent stake in Canal+ France, the top pay-TV provider in France," according to the report. The company, which is run by chairman and ceo Jean-Bernard Levy, owns 18 television channels, including Canal+. At the end of 2005, Canal+ reported 5.1 million subscribers who had access to a wide range of programs, including films, documentaries and French League 1 soccer matches.
$4.3 billionMediaset is one of the bases of power of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, and the source of a lot of his fortune. Known as Italy's largest private television broadcaster, Mediaset was founded by Berlusconi but today is run by his son, Pier, who is deputy chairman. The company is controlled by the Berlusconi family through the holding company Fininvest. Mediaset consists of several Italian networks, including Canale 5, which produces shows such as "Grande Fratellos" (the Italian version of "Big Brother") and "Delitti Imperfetti" (based on "CSI"). In 2002, the company acquired a major shareholding in Spanish broadcaster Telecinco. Mediaset also owns radio station R101 and an Internet portal, Mediaset.it.
The French conglomerate's television channel, Television Francaise 1, is the country's most popular, according to ZenithOptimedia. TF1 also owns Eurosport, which broadcasts to approximately 109 million homes in 54 countries and features top sporting events such as the UEFA Cup and the Motor Racing Grand Prix. TF1 also has interests in several other French channels, including a 9.9 percent stake in Canal+ France, which is the sole operator of satellite pay-TV in France. Patrick Le Lay is chairman and ceo.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty