No 10: Corporate Governance and Risk Identification in Global Media Companies

Juan P. Artero. 2009.

Since the beginning of the new 21st century, several corporate scandals have taken place in western countries, such as those controversies involving American companies like Enron, Arthur Andersen, Worldcom, Adelphia and Tyco. Essentially, Europe has not been different, taking into account diverse failures regarding corporations like Maxwell, Parmalat, Kirch, Vivendi or Royal Dutch Shell. Reasons behind such events have ranged from accounting frauds to use of insider information in stock markets, as well as simple irresponsible mismanagement of corporate assets.

Main consequences have been the loss of jobs, wealth, and corporate credibility. But several groups in the international community, from politicians to judges, civic activists and the media, have blamed the lack of good corporate governance in the companies involved. Additionally, economic crisis in 2002 and 2008 has also helped to generate a situation of public opinion in which corporate governance in terms of academic interest, professional development, and political regulation.

This piece of work tries to point out how global media firms meet basic governance standards, particularly regarding risk identification, in ther annual reports. The risk transparency aspect has shown especially important in the last few years of economic downturn. In particular, rules and regulations coming from American institutions such as the Securities and Exchange Commision (SEC) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) have become global governance standards for most media conglomerates.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Case Studies

  • 2.1. Time Warner
  • 2.2. News Corporation
  • 2.3. General Electric
  • 2.4. CBS
  • 2.5. Walt Disney
  • 2.6. Direct TV
  • 2.7. Gannet
  • 2.8. BSkyB
  • 2.9. Google
  • 2.10. Yahoo!
  • 2.11. Viacom
  • 2.12. Televisa

3. Conclusion

Juan P. Artero es an Assistant Professor of Media Management and Structure of Media Industries at the School of Communication of University of Navarra (Pamplona, Spain). He holds a BA in Audiovisual Communication and a PhD in Public Communication from this institution; as well as an MSc in Management from Cass Business School, City University, London. He has been a visiting scholar at the Institute for Media and Entertainment and Fordham University, in New York City.

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