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The Mouse that Roared -- Disney and National Geographic

The Walt Disney Co. has struck a deal valued at $52.4 billion to acquire much of the Hollywood holdings of 21st Century Fox. These holdings include National Geographic Partners. National Geographic Partners combined National Geographic television channels with other media and consumer enterprises, including the celebrated National Geographic magazine, as well as books, travel, and other businesses.

This leaves the National Geographic Society, the non-profit side, in a great position to continue their 130-year-old mission of using science, exploration, education and storytelling to inspire people to achieve a planet in balance.

Disney has spoken enthusiastically about the value of the NGS brand and the special role NGS plays in connecting kids with nature. We hope that NGS will be diligent in ensuring that its educational and scientific interests are well represented in the new partnership.

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This appears to be good news indeed, Richard.  We will have to wait and see how all this shakes out.  Fingers crossed.


In my limited time reading National Geographic magazines (2010 February to the present), I have to say I did not notice a dramatic shift in writing/content/style when the transition went from NGS to NGS owned by Fox. I wonder if there will be much changes with the Disney takeover? Though of course those who have been reading for longer might be able to note the changes.


The change began in the 80's and reached a crescendo by the mid 90's.

By the early 2000's the NGM had become an activist organization polarizing its readership.

Its weakened status left it ripe for the pickings.

I would not be surprised if the NGM ceases to exist as a printed publication within the next 10 to 15 years.

I sincerely hope I'm wrong.


I'm just glad dastardly John Fahey did not get his way. He wanted the NGM to cease publication deliberately, back in 1998 . . . before market forces or readership would have even indicated such a happening. 

He turned his back on the Membership intentionally. Despite his best efforts (and 15 years of his "leadership" of the Society), the NGM is still here. 

I will never forget or forgive his mantra about " know 'Society' the word is such a vestige of what's old. Nobody wants to be belong to anything anymore. We look to leverage our brand with strategic partnerships and licensing deals."

This was a man whose golden boy was David Lyle, his CEO of NG Channels and the dude who told an industry confab that the Magazine was a sad excuse, since . . . " the only people who actually r-e-a-d NGM are old people, or dead people. Young people -- the future-- know better. Hahaha, how funny..., etc." It attests to Fahey's philosophy and DIS-repsect of our beloved NGM.

This is a man who endeavoured to auction artwork off Society HQ's walls to compensate for the astounding 97% loss in net revenues between 2007-2011. The greedy man made /making money/ his priority for the organization, and yet presided over the biggest loss of revenues --sustained-- that NGS ever saw in 125 years. 


I hope you are wrong too Mel, in this instance. Fahey was, thank god. Your other comments are spot-on.

~ Scott


I hope Disney Corp. has much more actual sincerity and integrity than that red-tailed canidae did/does.

Oh my, they don't tell you these kinds of things in the opening letter of the editor in the later issues, let me tell you!

Thank you for sharing Scott and Mel. I will keep this in mind when I begin reading the earlier editions.

hey Pece, there's some folk here @ 'Corner that won't be thrilled with my commiserating on it, either. Just keep in mind the "polite company" rule ---> notice how most CEO's that are fired are always praised and wished well and given bonuses (or, "promoted" to Chairperson) by the organizations they depart? They will never talk about what really happened. 

Let's just say "three cheers for Gary Knell" and kudos to the Board for giving OUR Society the best 125th anniversary gift it ever could have conjured up.

The Membership was 9.2+ million when Fahey took over in 1998. It was 3.4 million and dropping when he stepped down in 2013. 

Thank you Richard, for sharing this hot news update.

- Scott

oh look, The Simpson's predicted this in 1998, ha --->

Haha cheeky Simpsons!



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