Fox Television Stations was formed in April 1986 after the acquisition of the Metromedia-owned independent stations by the 20th Century Fox film studio, at the time jointly owned by Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, and Denver-based billionaire Marvin Davis. These stations would later become the basis of the Fox television network, which launched in October 1986. Not long after the Metromedia deal was made, Murdoch purchased Davis's shares and News Corporation assumed complete control of 20th Century Fox.
Initially FTS was a semi-autonomous unit in which News Corporation owned over 99 percent of the equity but only 24 percent of the voting power; the balance was held personally by Murdoch. Federal Communications Commission regulations of that era prohibited foreign interests or non-American citizens from controlling more than 25 percent of an FCC-licensed broadcast station. Though News Corporation was still based in Australia, Murdoch had become a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1985, and the nominal transfer of a majority voting interest to Murdoch was sufficient to get... Read More