Fox offers 10 year Sky News guarantee

Sky News presenter Sarah Jane Mee

He also offered a commitment to establish a "fully independent" and "expert" Sky News Editorial Board, which alone would oversee the appointment of the head of Sky News, in a bid to install protocols that put some distance between editorial decision-making and the Murdoch family. Last week it emerged that Fox had offered to strengthen the editorial independence of Sky News, proposing what it termed "firewall remedies" that included a five-year pledge to maintain funding for Sky-branded news services and a commitment to set up an independent editorial board for Sky News that would act free from any influence by Fox.

United Kingdom regulators have been anxious that a takeover of Sky would give Murdoch - whose News Corp. owns The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun newspapers - too much sway over British media.

Fox back then also reiterated a previous proposal for "a commitment to Sky-branded news services in the United Kingdom for at least five years with similar levels of investment".

In a list of remedies to the CMA sent in response to the ruling, Murdoch initially pledged to maintain "equivalent levels of investment" to those now being made in a "Sky-branded news service" over five years.

Disney would inherit that commitment with its $52.4 billion purchase of most of Fox's film and TV assets, including Sky.

On Jan. 22 the CMA published a provisional report saying it had "provisionally found that Fox taking full control of Sky is not in the public interest due to media plurality concerns, but not because of a lack of a genuine commitment to meeting broadcasting standards in the U.K".

Fox had previously offered a five-year funding guarantee, which would have automatically fallen away when Fox was bought by Disney, allowing it to swiftly close the channel.

"We trust that you will find the revised firewall remedies satisfactory", Fox representatives wrote.

In addition, it said the independent board it proposes for Sky News would have to provide a certified annual statement to the Government, as well as having the right to nominate a candidate for the head of Sky News in the event of the post becoming vacant.

Other changes include those to the editorial board, which is now to be known as the Sky News Board.

Shares of Sky plc, which are valued at 1075p under the proposed Fox takeover, were up 1.5p at 1104.5p in mid-morning trading.



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