Dear Friends of Beliefnet,
As you may have heard, Beliefnet has experienced a major "life event." We've been acquired by Fox Entertainment Group, which is part of News Corp.
This is a thrilling moment for us. As you know, News Corp and Fox own media powerhouses such as Twentieth Century Fox, MySpace, The Wall Street Journal and Fox Network. What you may not know is that they also produce an enormous amount of high quality spirituality content: Zondervan, a Christian book publisher; HarperOne (formerly Harper San Francisco), a leading multifaith spirituality publisher; Harper Collins; Fox Faith, a creator of faith-based films; and the National Geographic Channel, which airs many terrific shows on religious history.
You can read the official press release (attached) but I wanted to spend a few moments with you reflecting more personally on why we’re doing this and what it means.
We've been getting interest from would-be acquirers for a few years. We were in no rush to sell but I've always believed that Beliefnet would fully blossom with the help of a major media partner. In assessing acquirers, what did we look for? Though we wanted to obtain a fair price, as big a factor in our deliberations was whether, by selling, we could better meet our mission. We created Beliefnet primarily to make a difference, not a killing. As I explored the possibilities with News Corp., it became clear that, with their help, Beliefnet would be able to take quantum leap in what we can do. The best spiritual and religious teachers – from Rick Warren to the Dalai Lama -- pass through News Corp doors (through Harper Collins, Zondervan, Harper One and others). News Corp's reach is enormous. Its proficiency in the areas of video, social networking and media in general is unsurpassed.
Most important, they want Beliefnet for the right reasons. They already own high-quality spiritually-oriented media companies – which are multifaith and ideologically diverse – and want Beliefnet to help those assets grow. As Dan Fawcett, the president of Fox Digital Media, said in announcing the deal, "Beliefnet has garnered respect for its commitment to quality, editorial strength and unbiased approach to faith and spirituality from a broad range of consumers, religious and political leaders, journalists and advertisers. Fox Entertainment Group’s goal is to leverage these characteristics across a broader media canvas and provide programming, production, advertising sales, technology and marketing expertise that will enhance a terrific product."
I'll be staying on and the staff and I will continue operating out of our current offices. Naturally, there’s always anxiety associated with change but we’re mostly excited and grateful.
Thank you for your help in getting us here and I look forward to continuing to work together as we now embark on a new journey.