Posts tagged "News Corporation"
July 23, 2012
The day Joel Klein resigned as New York City schools chancellor in November 2010, he said he would be joining Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation “to put [the company] in the burgeoning and dynamic education marketplace.”
But after quickly acquiring people and companies, Klein decamped for a year to lead NewsCorp’s internal handling of its phone-hacking scandal. Just what, if anything, was happening behind the education division’s doors remained far out of public view.
That changed today. A month after Klein returned to the division fulltime, NewsCorp announced in a press release that the division has a name, a website, and a mission: “reimagining K-12 education by creating digital products and services that empower students, teachers and parents in new ways.” (more…)
January 31, 2012
The Department of Education’s press office will be getting a new director in less than two weeks.
Natalie Ravitz, the department’s communications director since June 2010, is leaving to become chief of staff to Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of News Corporation. Her last day at the department will be Feb. 10.
Ravitz is following a well-worn path from the department to NewsCorp: Ex-schools chief Joel Klein, who was chancellor when Ravitz was hired, now heads the company’s growing education division. Last summer, Klein picked Kristen Kane, the department’s former chief operating officer, to become the division’s COO. He also acquired Wireless Generation, the technology company that developed and managed ARIS, the city’s school data warehouse.
After years in political communications, Ravitz arrived at the department during the summer of 2010 and shepherded its press operations through two abrupt changes in departmental leadership. She succeeded David Cantor, who held the job for longer than any of his predecessors before leaving for the private sector. (more…)
July 27, 2011
How involved is Rupert Murdoch at the newspapers he owns? When the subject is education, Murdoch’s views directly influence the coverage in the New York Post and, at the least, the sorts of meetings taken at the Wall Street Journal.
Azi Paybarah at the Observer reports today that at the New York Post, education stories are ordered up according to Murdoch’s visits:
One former reporter said his own editor requested a week’s worth of stories about the New York City public schools because “Rupert was going to be in town.” It was coveted real estate in the paper, and the reporter reluctantly obliged.
We have previously chronicled the Post’s open campaigning on behalf of the Bloomberg administration’s education policies and its effort to renew mayoral control. The coverage prompted Education Secretary Arne Duncan to praise the newspaper for its “leadership” in covering mayoral control.
There are some exceptions — New York City education beat reporter Yoav Gonen is even-handed and columnist Michael Goodwin takes no prisoners. But on and off the editorial page, the newspaper often matches Murdoch’s education views: aggressively dismissive of the teachers union and ridiculing of critics of the mayor.
At the Wall Street Journal, the line between news and opinion and newspaper boss seems to be thicker. But it has some holes. Last week, the New York Times reported on a meeting arranged between Joel Klein, then still the schools chancellor, and reporters:
When Mr. Klein visited The Journal last year to discuss education issues with news and opinion writers, Mr. Murdoch interrupted to lavish praise on the chancellor, much to the surprise of the writers. “Just listen to everything that Joel is saying,” Mr. Murdoch insisted, according to one person who attended the meeting.
July 21, 2011
Long before Murdoch’s News Corporation was accused of employing illegal news-gathering strategies, Murdoch and his wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, were supporters of the Shuang Wen School. The Chinatown dual-language school was revealed last year to be illegally charging families for mandatory Chinese instruction.
In 2004, the Murdochs pledged three years of financial support for Shuang Wen’s after school programs, according to an article published in a city’s Chinese language paper at the time. That pledge amounted to half a million dollars, the Grand Street News later reported. In 2008, Murdoch praised the school during a lecture delivered in Australia.
Shuang Wen’s longtime principal, Ling Ling Chou, was removed several weeks ago under cloud of at least nine separate investigations into the school. Her interim replacement, Iris Chiu, has not received a warm welcome: Shuang Wen parents are defending Chou and fighting against the DOE’s investigations and oversight. They have filed a lawsuit alleging that discrimination is behind the city’s scrutiny, and some say they might withdraw their children in protest.
Wendi Murdoch’s relationship with the city schools extends beyond Shuang Wen. Until at least last year, she was a board member of the Fund for Public Schools, the Department of Education’s private fundraising arm. It’s unclear whether her tenure on the board began before or after Rupert Murdoch approached fund vice-chair Caroline Kennedy for help getting Grace, his oldest daughter with Wendi, into the private Brearley School.
November 22, 2010
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation took its second step into the education world this evening when it made a deal to buy Wireless Generation, a Brooklyn-based education technology company.
Murdoch took his first step nearly two weeks ago, when he acquired the chancellor of New York City’s public schools, Joel Klein. In an announcement that took most of his staff and top advisors by surprise, Klein told reporters that he was leaving the Department of Education for a job at News Corp., where he will be an executive vice president overseeing investments in digital learning companies.
After Klein resigned, News Corp. officials told The New York Times that they planned to make “seed investments” in entrepreneurial education companies. The acquisition of Wireless Generation may be the first of these investments.
“Wireless Generation is positioned to grow aggressively, and it was the right time in the company’s journey to find a home where it will have access to the resources it needs to fuel that aggressive growth,” said spokeswoman Andrea Reibel in a statement.
Reibel would not comment on when talks began, but said the deal was finalized this evening. For $360 million in cash, News Corp. now owns 90 percent of Wireless Generation, a company with 400 employees. (more…)
November 9, 2010
News that Chancellor Joel Klein will step down has caught his staff — even his most senior advisors — by surprise and sparked debate over whether he was pushed to resign.
Department of Education employees, some of them eight-year veterans with strong personal ties to the chancellor, learned of Klein’s resignation at a press conference this afternoon. And they didn’t meet his replacement, Hearst Magazines chairwoman Cathleen Black, until after the mayor and chancellor addressed reporters.
“I was literally scheduled for a 4 o’clock meeting, walked in, and watched a bunch of people going ‘Oh my God,’” said a DOE official.
Said another: “It’s the best kept secret in the history of the DOE.”
Even Black’s meeting with teachers union president Michael Mulgrew, which Mayor Bloomberg mentioned at the news conference, was an accidental encounter. (more…)