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Rupert Murdoch taps NYC school boss Joel Klein to lead News Corp. push into education business

November 9, 2010 |  5:15 pm

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch wants to focus on his A-B-Cs.

The media giant, parent of the Fox network, Fox News Channel, 20th Century Fox and the Wall Street Journal, wants to make a push into the education business and has tapped New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein to be the point person.

JOELKLEIN Prior to becoming the chancellor of New York City's public school system, Klein was best known as a former Justice Dept. official who oversaw the antitrust division for the Clinton administration and led the government's legal fight against Microsoft Corp. At News Corp., Klein will serve as an executive vice president in the Office of the Chairman and has also been named to the company's board of a directors.

In a press conference, Klein said he'd been tapped by News Corp. to "put them in the burgeoning and dynamic education marketplace."

"His record of achievement leading one of the country's toughest school systems has given him a unique perspective that will be particularly important as we look into a sector that has long been in need of innovation," said Murdoch in a statement.

Some media companies view education as a major growth area. The Washington Post Co. relies heavily on its education unit Kaplan Inc. In the Washington Post Co.'s third-quarter results, Kaplan had revenue of $743.3 million. It accounted for over 60% of the entire company's revenue, according to the Washington Post.

Walt Disney Co. is also a player in this field with its Disney-branded schools, and the New York Times has launched the New York Times Knowledge Network.

Replacing Klein as New York City school chancellor is Cathie Black, who for years has run the magazine unit at Hearst Corp.

Klein is no stranger to media. His wife is Nicole Seligman, executive vice president and general counsel for Sony Corp.

— Joe Flint

 Photo: Joel Klein. Credit: Seth Wenig / Associated Press.

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