News Corp.Will Disclose Corporate Political Contributions

Blog ››› ››› SARAH PAVLUS

Following shareholder pressure at last year's annual meeting, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has adopted a "new policy to publicly disclose corporate political contributions annually on News Corporation's corporate web site." The policy states:

On April 12, 2011, News Corporation's Board of Directors adopted a new policy to publicly disclose corporate political contributions annually on News Corporation's corporate web site (www.newscorp.com).

News Corporation will post on its web site all corporate political contributions made in the 2011 calendar year by January 16, 2012. As part of instituting this policy, News Corporation intends to provide transitional disclosure on its web site of all corporate political contributions made from January 2011 through June 2011 by July 15, 2011.

Media Matters previously reported that the Nathan Cummings Foundation -- a private foundation and News Corp. shareholder -- caused a stir at the company's annual meeting last October with its request that the board "disclose to shareholders the use of corporate assets for any and all political spending" in light of news reports at the time that News Corp. had donated $1 million each to the Republican Governors Association (RGA) and the GOP-leaning Chamber of Commerce.

(An RGA disclosure report later revealed News Corp. had donated an additional $250K to that group.)

Weeks before the annual meeting, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch told Politico that the company "didn't expect" the Chamber donation to become public, raising the question of whether the company had made additional, undisclosed political contributions. Murdoch also told Politico, "The RGA [gift] was actually [a result of] my friendship with John Kasich" -- a former Fox News host and then-Republican gubernatorial candidate.

Additionally, News Corp.'s new policy states: "All Corporate Political Contributions must be approved in advance by News Corporation's Executive Vice President for Government Affairs."

News Corp. also has a political action committee -- News America-FOXPAC -- which is funded by "voluntary contributions from eligible employees of the company" and is required to publicly disclose its contributions to the Federal Election Commission.

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