JAMES MUR­DOCH, I PRE­SUME?

HIS PLANS FOR NA­TIONAL GE­O­GRAPHIC ARE ROUGHLY THE OP­PO­SITE OF WHAT CRIT­ICS EX­PECT

Bloomberg Businessweek (North America) - - Focus On/The Cloud - BY FELIX GIL­LETTE

WITH­OUT THE CHANNEL, “THEY WOULDN’T HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ... KEEP THE LIGHTS ON”

In the spring of 2012 the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Channel was about to pre­miere Dig­gers, a re­al­ity show about a cou­ple of am­a­teur sleuths who look for buried artifacts us­ing metal de­tec­tors. Dur­ing the pro­mo­tional roll­out, the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic So­ci­ety told David Lyle, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the net­work at the time, that con­cerns had been raised about the show. In the real world, scofflaws some­times ri­fle through del­i­cate ar­chae­ol­ogy sites while bran­dish­ing the de­vices. Might Dig­gers in­ad­ver­tently make the sit­u­a­tion worse? Lyle as­sured every­one at the so­ci­ety that the show was cat­e­gor­i­cally anti-loot­ing. To stave off its crit­ics, Dig­gers even­tu­ally hired sev­eral ar­chae­ol­o­gists to serve as min­ders and chap­er­ones on set. “If we were making that show for Dis­cov­ery, we wouldn’t have had to do any of that. Why did the so­ci­ety care? A cou­ple of peo­ple at a cou­ple of uni­ver­si­ties wrote letters,” Lyle says. “They hated get­ting letters.”

For years a cul­ture clash had been brew­ing within the clois­tered, sober halls of the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic So­ci­ety, a so­cial club turned non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion founded in Wash­ing­ton in 1888, and de­voted to in­creas­ing and dif­fus­ing ge­o­graphic knowl­edge. Some NGS ex­ec­u­tives were ir­ri­tated by the re­al­ity-tv shows that had come to dom­i­nate the net­work, which was ma­jor­ity- owned by Ru­pert Mur­doch’s News Corp. The worry was that the low­brow shows were dam­ag­ing the so­ci­ety’s cred­i­bil­ity and up­stand­ing rep­u­ta­tion. Be­hind the scenes, they’d at­tempted to quash sev­eral projects. The TV peo­ple kept fight­ing back.

By the time the NGS board hired Gary Knell, the for­mer head of Na­tional Public Ra­dio, to re­place long­time CEO John Fa­hey in Jan­uary 2014, the Dig­gers flap had blown over, but the ten­sions still sim­mered. Among other things, the in­ter­nal strife was gen­er­at­ing bad pub­lic­ity. On a blog, so­ci­et­y­mat­ters.org, Alan Mair­son, a for­mer Na­tional Ge­o­graphic writer and editor, high­lighted again and again how the NGS’S tra­di­tional fo­cus on sci­ence, ex­plo­ration, and dis­cov­ery was be­ing over over­taken and un­der­mined on ca­ble TV by more tit­il­lat­ingt­ing top­ics such as sex and drugs, para­nor­mal ac­tiv­i­ties, s, and true crime. He lam­basted the so­ci­ety’s lead­er­ship for sub­si­diz­ing its “good works” with “tabloid trash,” of­ten il­lus­trat­ing those cri­tiques with a photo of Mur­doch laugh­ing.

Knell agreed with some trustees that the net­work’sk’s ed­i­to­rial di­rec­tion had gone awry, but he also knew ew that the highly prof­itable net­work, not the au­gust, ust, yel­low-bor­dered mag­a­zine, was the NGS’S lifeblood.d. In the months thatt fol­lowed, Knell came to be­lieve the brand was suf­fer­ing from a split per per­son­al­ity. It was one thing on TV, an an­other thing in print, and some beas beastly hy­brid on­line. As much as any par­tic­u­lar pro­gram, he de de­ter­mined, the dis­so­nance was w what was hurt­ing busi­ness. For ex­am­ple, var­i­ous sales teams were ap­proach­ing poten­ntial ad­ver­tis­ers sep­a­rately and with very dif­fer­ent pitches.s. Knell sus­pected the in­ter­nal fric­tion would fur­ther jeop- ardize Na­tional Ge­o­graphic dur­ing an ex­is­ten­tial fight ht for rel­e­vance.

So in May 2015, a lit­tle more than a year into the job, Knell de­cided to clear the air. He or­ga­nized an off-site re­treat for the so­ci­ety’s 20 trustees to dis­cuss the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s fu­ture. He in­vited sev­eral busi­ness part­ners to at­tend. “The two-day re­treatt was held at the U.S. In­sti­tute of Peace—which you shouldn’t read any­thing into,” Knell says. “There was a good feel­ing in the room.”

Founded in 1984, the fed­er­ally funded, non­par­ti­san peacee in­sti­tute is ded­i­cated to re­duc­ing vi­o­lent con­flicts around thee world. Its modernist Wash­ing­ton head­quar­ters, topped by a bil­low­ing, translu­cent roof, is just off the Na­tional Mall, not t far from the Lin­coln Me­mo­rial. Among the key guests ar­riv­ing for Knell’s re­treat were a hand­ful of top ex­ec­u­tives from 21st Cen­tury Fox, which had split from News Corp. in 2013. For years, the NGS and Fox had worked to­gether, run­ning the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Chan­nels, a lu­cra­tive fam­ily of four do­mes­tic and for­eign ca­ble brands, of which Fox owned 70 per­cent and the so­ci­ety owned the rest. Cru­cially, Fox sent Chase Carey, then the com­pany’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, and James Mur­doch.

The youngest of Ru­pert’s three chil­dren from his first mar­riage, James, 43, has spent much of his ca­reer out­side the U.S., from Hong Kong to Lon­don, over­see­ing var­i­ous out­posts of the fam­ily’s far-flung me­dia em­pire. Along the way, he served as the CEO and later nonex­ec­u­tive chair­man of BSKYB, the Euro­pean telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions gi­ant, of which his fam­ily’s com­pany owned a con­trol­ling stake. In 2011, as the phone­hack­ing scan­dal en­gulfed News Corp.’s U.K. news­pa­pers, James re­turned to New York, where the com­pany is based. In July 2015 he took over from his fa­ther as CEO of 21st Cen­tury Fox. (He and Ru­pert de­clined to be in­ter­viewed for this story.)

From a cer­tain per­spec­tive, the sum­mit at the U.S. In­sti­tute of PeaceP couldn’t have gone bet­ter. In Septem­ber, the Nat Na­tional Ge­o­graphic So­ci­ety an­nounced it would sell all of it its me­dia hold­ings—in­clud­ing its flag­ship mag­a­zine, its TV chan­nels,c and its book pub­lish­ing divi­sion—along with a han hand­ful of an­cil­lary busi­nesses, to a new for-profit com­pany. Fox would pay the so­ci­ety $725 mil­lion and be­come ma­jorit ity Part­ners.owner of The the yp so­ci­etynew ven­ture, would dubbed­hold on Na­tion­alto 27 per­cent Geo­graph­i­cand con­trol half the seats on the new board. By tak­ing a step back from the me­dia busi­ness, the NGS would be free to fo­cus on its phil­an­thropic ac­tiv­i­ties, sup­port­ing scien- tific ex­plo­ration, con­ser­va­tion, and ed­u­ca­tion. And by pay­ing the so­ci­ety a sub­stan­tial sum, 21st Cen­tury Fox would gain tighter con­trol over the ex­pres­sion of the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic brand in print, on TV, and on the Web.

Not every­one saw this as good news. Var­i­ous ob­servers fret­ted that Ru­pert Mur­doch’s con­ser­va­tive world­view, par­tic­u­larly his bois­ter­ous skep­ti­cism about global warm­ing, might warp the flag­ship mag­a­zine’s ed­i­to­rial mis­sion even more than the am­a­teur

trea­sure hunters. On Twit­ter, Green­peace called the mar­riage “bad news for na­ture lovers.” In a clip on Youtube, Jane Goodall, the pri­ma­tol­o­gist and for­mer ex­plorer-in-res­i­dence at the NGS, told The Win­nipeg Free Press that at first she’d as­sumed news of the deal was a prank. Crit­ics cir­cu­lated mock ver­sions of fu­ture Na­tional Ge­o­graphic cov­ers, with head­lines rang­ing from “The 10 Most Rea­gan-es­que An­i­mals” to “The Joy of Coal.” But while these com­men­ta­tors fo­cused on Ru­pert’s po­lit­i­cal views, it was James who drove the deal. “[He] came and spentp time with the trustees,” sa says Jean Case, chair­man of the so­ci­ety’s board. “We b be­came suf­fi­ciently con­vinced that his pas­sions i in these ar­eas are e very r real.” Known among mong bus busi­ness as­so­ci­ates as the most en­vi­ron­men­tally pro­gres­sive of the Mur­doch clan, he and his wife, Kathryn, run Quadriv­ium, a non­profit foun­da­tion ded­i­cated to a range of causes, in­clud­ing sci­en­tific ed­u­ca­tion and the pro­tec­tion of oceanic fish­eries and other nat­u­ral re­sources. Ac­cord­ing to bi­og­ra­pher Michael Wolff, Ru­pert some­times refers to James as his “tree-hug­ger son.”

The $725 mil­lion in­vest­ment was James’s first ma­jor move as Fox CEO. The deal has re­ceived strong sup­port from his older brother, Lach­lan, Fox’s ex­ec­u­tive chair­man, who’s an avid rock climber and un­der­wa­ter pho­tog­ra­pher. In ad­di­tion to the me­dia as­sets, Fox picked up Na­tional Ge­o­graphic’s travel busi­ness, which ar­ranges tours to places such as the Galá­pa­gos Is­lands, and its li­cens­ing divi­sion, which lends its name to ev­ery­thing from bird feed­ers to back­packs to bed­sheets to cof­fee beans. The suc­cess of the brand will likely hinge on the fi­nan­cial per­for­mance of the TV net­work—and its abil­ity to nav­i­gate a mar­ket that’s be­ing shaken by the un­bundling of ca­ble pack­ages and rapidly chang­ing view­ing habits.

While some ob­servers are still con­cerned that the Mur­dochs will drag the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic brand down-mar­ket, the TV net­work is u un­der­go­ing a rad­i­cal makeover in the op­po­site di­rec­tion. Fox is in­vest­ing hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars to rein

vent it as a more high­brow des­ti­na­tion—a kind of HBO for sci­ence and ad­ven­ture pro­gram­ming. “It’s bet­ter shows, it’s big­ger tal­ent,” says Courteney Mon­roe, cur­rent CEO of the TV net­work. “The shift is right for the time. But, first and fore­most, it’s right for the brand.”

Na­tional Ge­o­graphic has been a sta­ple of mid­dle­brow Amer­i­can cul­ture for al­most a cen­tury. By 1926 the mag­a­zine had 1 mil­lion pay­ing sub­scribers (or mem­bers, as

“WHAT DOES THE HBO VER­SION OF NA­TIONAL GE­O­GRAPHIC LOOK LIKE?”

they have long been known), ac­cord­ing to Ex­plor­ers House: Na­tional Ge­o­graphic and the World It Made, by Robert Poole. As a non­profit, the NGS poured sur­plus rev­enu­enue back in­toto its ts op­er­a­tions,ope at giv­ing rise to an eru­dite, univer­sity-like cul­ture, re­plete with gen­er­ous rous em em­ployee perks and fierce bu­reau­cratic skir­mishes. In the 1980s the mag­a­zine’s sub- s scrip­tions and news­stand sales hitt apa peak of about 10.9 mil­lion monthly y rea read­ers, but af­ter 1990 they be­gan to o de­cline. (To­day it has a U. S. cir- cu­la­tion of roughly 3.3 mil­lion,, ac­cord­ing to the Al­liance of Au­dited Me­dia.) Hop­ing to make up for fall­ing print rev­enue, the NGS in­vested in ev­ery­thing from Hol­ly­wood movies to world-mu­sic al­bums to IMAX the­aters to mo­bile games. Most of these for­ays strug­gled. At one point the so­ci­ety teamed with Para­mount Pic­tures to co-pro­duce K-19: The Wi­d­ow­maker, a submarine ac­tion flick star­ring Har­ri­son Ford and Liam Nee­son. The movie, which had a $100 mil­lion pro­duc­tion bud­get, gen­er­ated only $65 mil­lion in global ticket sales, ac­cord­ing to Box Of­fice Mojo. In 2006 the so­ci­ety paid an undis­closed sum—which one for­mer ex­ec­u­tive says was up­wards of $100 mil­lion—to ac­quire Hamp­ton-Brown, a lead­ing pub­lisher of English-as-a- sec­ond-lan­guage ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­rial. The move used a siz­able chunk of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s en­dow­ment (which by 2009 was hov­er­ing at less than $200 mil­lion) yet never gen­er­ated sig­nif­i­cant prof­its. The me­dia in­vest­ments that did suc­ceed—like the so­ci­ety’s 2005 hit doc­u­men­tary March of the Pen­guins— failed to trans­late into sus­tain­able busi­ness mod­els.

Ca­ble TV was the ex­cep­tion. Through­out the 1960s, Na­tional Ge­o­graphic pro­duced na­ture doc­u­men­taries for broad­cast TV net­works, star­ring the likes of Jac­ques Cousteau. When ca­ble took off in the early 1980s, the NGS con­sid­ered start­ing a channel but ul­ti­mately de­cided against it. That left the door open for the Dis­cov­ery Channel, which be­gan in 1985 and has since grown into a rich and for­mi­da­ble crosstown ri­val.

In the mid-’90s, the NGS re­con­sid­ered ca­ble. Launch­ing a net­work from scratch re­quires a hefty in­vest­ment, in the ball­park of sev­eral hun­dred mil­lion dol­lars. Aware of the risks, Na­tional Ge­o­graphic met with var­i­ous po­ten­tial part­ners and nd even­tu­ally hooked up with Mur­doch.

The ne­go­ti­a­tions took al­most a year, ac­cord­ing to Rick Allen, a for­mer Na­tional Geo­graph­icc ex­ec­u­tive. In the end, the so­ci­ety se­cured sev­eral al con­trols, in­clud­ing sep­a­rat­ing TV rights, whichh went to the channel, from dig­i­tal rights, which stayed with the Ngs—and set­ting up a so­ci­ety-staffed fact-check­ing op­er­a­tion to vet shows be­fore they aired. “The anal­ogy I gave my col­leagues at the time was that we’re play­ing pickup bas­ket­ball with Shaquille O’neal,” Allen re­calls. “Shaq is 340 pounds. We’re 180. He doesn’t have to try and hurt us. All he has to do is lean on us, and we’re in trou­ble.”

The Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Channel went on-air in the U.S. in 2001. With the so­ci­ety’s brand recog­ni­tion and Mur­doch’s l lever­age, the net­work quickly spread a across the U. S. and around the world—it no now reaches 440 mil­lion homes in 171 coun­tries tries. By the end of the decade, ac­cord­ing to a Ha Har­vard Busi­ness School case study, the TV di divi­sion was gen­er­at­ing tens of mil­lions of dol­lars in profit an­nu­ally for the NGS. Even as it grew more prof­itable, sprouted ad­di­tion ad­di­tional chan­nels ( in­clud­ing Nat­geo Wild), and thrivedthriv over­seas, the net­work was get­ting trounced in the U. S. by Dis­cov­ery. In 2011 the net­work b brought in Lyle as its CEO. A gre­gar­i­ous Aussie, h he’d spent the past sev­eral years in Los An­ge­les, run­ning the Fox Re­al­ity Channel.

The Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Channel be­ganan crank­ing out a slate of rel­a­tively low- cost t re­al­ity shows. For the first time, the channel l scored sev­eral pop cul­ture hits, in­clud­ingg Wicked Tuna, in which teams of salty New w Eng­lan­ders chase down At­lantic tuna; and d Dooms­day Prep­pers, about gun-tot­ing sur­vival- ists pre­par­ing for Ar­maged­don. Rat­ings grew, w, and so, too, did the net op­er­at­ing profit at thehe Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Channel, which, ac­cor­dord­ing to Lyle, jumped from $72 mil­lion in fis­call year 2011 to $133 mil­lion in 2014.

On sev­eral oc­ca­sions, the so­ci­ety’s stan­dards and prac­tices department at­tempted ed to al­ter or kill a se­ries in devel­op­ment. Lylee says that in the spring of 2012, on the eve of thehe pre­miere of Wicked Tuna, the NGS tried to shut t down the show over con­cerns about over­fish­ing. shing. Emer­gency meet­ings were held. The showw pro­ceeded on the con­di­tion that the channel cre­ate public ser­vice an­nounce­ments high­light­ing the vul­ner­a­bil­ity of tuna pop­u­la­tions.

Lyle says an­other fight broke out in 2013 over Killing Kennedy, a movie based on the book by Martin Du­gard and Fox News an­chor Bill O’reilly. There was noth­ing overtly par­ti­san about the TV adap­ta­tion, which starred Rob Lowe as Joh John F. Kennedy. Even so, Lyle says, a cer­tain fac­tion al­ready con con­cerned that the channel was be­com­ing Fox­i­fied ob­jected to t the show be­cause of the O’reilly con­nec­tion. The is­sues got has hashed out, and Killing Kennedy aired, gen­er­at­ing sig­nif­i­cant rati rat­ings. The TV ex­ec­u­tives bris­tled at the in­ter­fer­ence. “With­out the rev­enue from the channel,” Lyle says, “they wouldn’t have bee been able to pay the power bill to keep the lights on.”

As the years passed, Fox’s de­sire to con­trol the Nat­geo brand grew more ur­gent. Ac­cord­ing to Stephen Gian­netti, a for­mer ex­ec­u­tive at the net­work, rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Fox rou­tinely in­quired about buy­ing out the so­ci­ety’s 30 per­cent stake in the net­work. “It was a con­ver­sa­tion every year,” he says. For a long time, the NGS re­sisted.

Fol­low­ing his ap­point­ment as the so­ci­ety’s CEO in Jan­uary 2014, Knell found him­self star­ing into what was ar­guably a

more hos­tile en­vi­ron­ment than the Antarc­tic wastes, “death zone” on Ever­est, or any­where else the NGS rou­tinely dis­patched pho­tog­ra­phers—namely, the mod­ern me­dia mar­ket­place. The fore­cast didn’t look good. And the more Knell dug into the NGS busi­ness model, the more con­cerned he grew. How, he won­dered, would an in­de­pen­dent non­profit keep up in an age of shift­ing dis­tri­bu­tion chan­nels, mi­grat­ing ad dol­lars, and di­min­ish­ing re­turns for legacy me­dia brands?

Knell be­lieved that to sur­vive, the var­i­ous fac­tions within Na­tional Ge­o­graphic needed to unite. The place to start was TV. In the sum­mer of 2014, Lyle stepped down as net­work chief. After­ward, Na­tional Ge­o­graphic an­nounced that an in­ter­nal can­di­date, Mon­roe, was tak­ing over. A mar­ket­ing ex­ec­u­tive, she’d ar­rived at the net­work a cou­ple of years ear­lier from HBO, where she’d spent more than a decade cre­at­ing cam­paigns for hit shows such as Sex and the City and The So­pra­nos.

A new pro­gram­ming vi­sion be­gan to take shape. The shift­ing strat­egy was in­formed, in part, by the com­mer­cial suc­cess of Cos­mos: A Space­time Odyssey. The 13-part doc­u­men­tary se­ries, which aired in 2014 and starred as­tro­physi­cist Neil de­grasse Tyson, was pro­duced by Fam­ily Guy cre­ator Seth Mac­far­lane and ran across sev­eral net­works owned by Fox, in­clud­ing Nat­geo. Cos­mos ap­plied rich, Hol­ly­wood pro­duc­tion val­ues to a wonky, sci­en­tific sub­ject. View­ers and ad­ver­tis­ers loved it.

In Jan­uary 2015, Mon­roe got a call from Peter Rice, chair­man and CEO at Fox Net­works Group. “He said, ‘What if we blew up what we are do­ing?’ ” Mon­roe re­calls. “‘You worked at HBO for a long time. What does the HBO ver­sion of Na­tional Ge­o­graphic look like?’ ” In April of that year, Mon­roe pre­sented an up­scale ver­sion to the net­work’s board. James Mur­doch sat in on the meet­ing. “It was uni­ver­sally em­braced,” she says.

In May, Mur­doch at­tended the off-site re­treat in Wash­ing­ton where, for the first time, he met with the so­ci­ety’s trustees. What­ever reser­va­tions the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic So­ci­ety har­bored in the past about sell­ing more of its as­sets to Fox quickly dis­solved. Four months later, Fox and the NGS an­nounced the sale. A round of lay­offs at the so­ci­ety soon fol­lowed. Knell says that if the NGS hadn’t made the deal with Fox, things would only have got­ten worse. He sees bet­ter times ahead. “21st Cen­tury Fox is a vi­sion­ary com­pany,” he says. “We were able to min­i­mize some of our risk, and Fox got a brand theyy can re­ally ex­pand and back.”

In March, in­side a pri­vate din­ing room oom at New York’s Park Hy­att ho­tel, Mon­roe un­veile­dled the pro­gram­ming strat­egy to a crowd of me­dia buy­ers. The channel’s devel­op­ment slate is brim­ming with bold­face names. Alex Gib­ney is pro­duc­ing a minis­eries ies about the global wa­ter cri­sis. Brett Mor­gen is making g a biopic of Jane Goodall. Scott Rudin is de­vel­op­ing a se­ries about the events lead­ing up to the nu­clear melt­down in Ch­er­nobyl. And Dar­ren Aronof­sky is cre­at­ing a se­ries called One Strange Rock.

Each will be backed by hefty mar­ket­ing and pro­duc­tion bud­gets. Un­der the pre­vi­ous regime, the net­wor­ket­work spent about $300 mil­lion a year on roughly 450 hours of pro­gram­ming. Mon­roe will now ex­pend pend $400 mil­lion on 150 hours. “Our strat­egy be­fore was more of a vol­ume play,” she says. “It was a lot of low- cost ost hours. Quan­tity over qual­ity. We’re in­vert­ing g that.”

Na­tion­al­nal Ge­o­graphic’s am­bi­tions are likely to put thehe net­work on a col­li­sion course not only with th Dis­cov­ery, but also with HBO, Net­flix, and nd Ama­zon. “The au­di­ence doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily ily go where the dol­lars are spent,” Lyle says.. “The part you don’t know is whether your rat­ings will in­crease pro- por­tion­ally.”.” The so­ci­ety is happy with the net­work’s twork’s di­rec­tion now, he says, but what hat will pro­gram­ming look like in five years s should the strat­egy fail?

With over­all ca­ble rat­ings de­clin­ing in the U.S., me­dia con­glom­er­ates are look­ing over­seas to find new au­di­ences. Nat­geo wants its strat­egy to ap­peal to au­di­ences from Cen­tral Amer­ica erica to Europe to Asia: “Big shows in ourr gen­res—sci­ence and ad­ven­ture—should trans­late around the world,” Mon­roe says says. “The hope is that these be­com be­come bi big, glob­all fran­chises for us.”

The dig­i­tal, print, and TV teams are now all un­der the same roof and, in the­ory, work­ing to­ward the same goals. “There were peo­ple in cer­tain quar­ters who were hold­ing their noses about what was hap­pen­ing on the tele­vi­sion side,” says Declan Moore, CEO of Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Part­ners. “It’s a lot eas­ier for them to lean in if they see more thought­ful, in­for­ma­tive pro­gram­ming.”

The strat­egy will get its first ma­jor test this fall. In Novem­ber the net­work will air a minis­eries called Mars, pro­duced by Ron Howard, Michael Rosen­berg, and Brian Grazer. The mag­a­zine will pub­lish a pack­age of sto­ries about Mars. The book divi­sion will pub­lish a Mars book. The Web team will go hog-wild with Mars con­tent. Mon­roe jokes that Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Ex­pe­di­tions will be­gin book­ing tours to the red planet.

Months af­ter the deal was an­nounced, James and Lach­lan Mur­doch och re re­main ac­tively en­gaged in Fox’s prized new as­set. Every year theth mag­a­zine’s pho­tog­ra­phers con­gre­gate at the so­ci­ety’s head­quar­ter­shea for an ex­hi­bi­tion of their work. This year, the Mur­doch broth­ers at­tended the sem­i­nar and ming min­gled, ad­mir­ing the shots of camel sil­hou­ettes and light­ning- struck vil­lages. In Novem­ber the mag mag­a­zine pub­lished an is­sue de­voted to cli­mate cha change. Su­san Gold­berg, editor since 2015, says tha that after­ward she re­ceived a con­grat­u­la­tory no note from Mur­doch, say­ing he’d “gath­ered his f fam­ily around” to read through the im­port tant is­sue. She says he’s made only one e ed­i­to­rial sug­ges­tion to her. “James is an en en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist,” Gold­berg says. “He said said, ‘I wish we could do more sto­ries about why peo­ple don’t be­lieve sci­ence.’” <BW>

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