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|Formation||January 13, 1888|
|Type||501(c)(3), charitable organization|
|Headquarters||1145 17th Street Washington, D.C., United States|
|Jean M. Case|
The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational organizations in the world. Founded in 1888, its interests include geography, archaeology, and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation, and the study of world culture and history. The National Geographic Society's logo is a yellow portrait frame—rectangular in shape—which appears on the margins surrounding the front covers of its magazines and as its television channel logo. Through National Geographic Partners (a joint venture with The Walt Disney Company), the Society operates the magazine, TV channels, a website, worldwide events, and other media operations.
The National Geographic Society was founded in 1888 "to increase and diffuse geographic knowledge". It is governed by a board of trustees whose 21 members include distinguished educators, business executives, former government officials and conservationists. The organization sponsors and funds scientific research and exploration. National Geographic maintains a museum for the public in its Washington, D.C., headquarters.
It has helped to sponsor popular traveling exhibits, such as the early 2010s King Tut exhibit featuring artifacts from the tomb of the young Egyptian Pharaoh. Its Education Foundation gives grants to education organizations and individuals to improve geography education.Its Committee for Research and Exploration has awarded more than 11,000 grants for scientific research and exploration.
National Geographic has retail stores in Washington, D.C., London, Sydney, and Panama. The locations outside of the United States are operated by Worldwide Retail Store S.L., a Spanish holding company.
The Society's media arm is National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the Society, which publishes a journal, National Geographic in English and nearly 40 local-language editions. It also publishes other magazines, books, school products, maps, and Web and film products in numerous languages and countries. National Geographic's various media properties reach more than 280 million people monthly.
|The 33 original founders of the National Geographic Society in 1888:|
|Although Alexander Graham Bell is sometimes discussed as a founder, he was actually the second president, elected on January 7, 1898, and serving until 1903.|
The National Geographic Society began as a club for an elite group of academics and wealthy patrons interested in travel and exploration.On January 13, 1888, 33 explorers and scientists gathered at the Cosmos Club, a private club then located on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., to organize "a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge." After preparing a constitution and a plan of organization, the National Geographic Society was incorporated two weeks later on January 27. Gardiner Greene Hubbard (co-founder of AT&T) became its first president and his son-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell (also co-founder of AT&T), succeeded him in 1897.
In 1899, Bell's son-in-law Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor was named the first full-time editor of National Geographic magazine and served the organization for fifty-five years (until 1954), and members of the Grosvenor family have played important roles in the organization since. Bell and Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor devised the successful marketing notion of Society membership and the first major use of photographs to tell stories in magazines.
The chairman of the National Geographic Society currently is Jean Case. Michael Ulica is President. Jill Tiefenthaler is the Chief Executive Officer. The editor-in-chief of National Geographic magazine is Susan Goldberg. Gilbert Melville Grosvenor, a former chairman, received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 for his leadership in geography education.
In 2004, the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., was one of the first buildings to receive a "Green" certificationfrom Global Green USA. The National Geographic received the prestigious Prince of Asturias Award for Communication and Humanities in October 2006 in Oviedo, Spain.
National Geographic Expeditions was launched in 1999 to fulfill one of its mission and for the proceeds to go towards its mission.
In 2006, the society purchased Hampton-Brown, an English-as-a-second-language educational material publisher, using a good part of its endowments. However, the publisher did not generate much profits. By 2009, the society's endowments were about $200 million.
National Geographic Ventures, its commercial arm, launched a music division, National Geographic Music and Radio, in 2007.The society formed in October 2007 National Geographic Entertainment division to include its entertainment units.
In 2013 the society was investigated for possible violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act relating to their close association with an Egyptian government official responsible for antiquities.
On September 9, 2015, the Society announced that it would re-organize its media properties and publications into a new company known as National Geographic Partners, which would be majority-owned by 21st Century Fox (21CF) with a 73% stake. This new, for-profit corporation, would own National Geographic and other magazines, as well as its affiliated television networks—most of which were already owned in joint ventures with 21CF.As a consequence, the Society and 21st Century Fox announced on November 2, 2015, that 9 percent of National Geographic's 2,000 employees, approximately 180 people, would be laid off, constituting the biggest staff reduction in the Society's history. Later, The Walt Disney Company assumed 21CF's share in National Geographic Partners, following the completion of Disney's acquisition of most of 21CF assets on March 20, 2019.
The Society has helped sponsor many expeditions and research projects over the years.
The Hubbard Medal is awarded by the National Geographic Society for distinction in exploration, discovery, and research. The medal is named for Gardiner Greene Hubbard, the first National Geographic Society president. The Hubbard Medal has been presented 44 times as of 2018 [update] , the most recent award going to Peter H. Raven.[ citation needed ]
The National Geographic Society also awards, rarely, the Alexander Graham Bell Medal, for exceptional contributions to geographic research. The award is named after Alexander Graham Bell, scientist, inventor of the telephone and the second president of the NGS. Up to mid-2011, the medal has been twice presented:
The Society operates the National Geographic Museum, located at 1145 17th Street, NW (17th and M), in Washington, D.C. The museum features changing exhibitions featuring the work of National Geographic explorers, photographers, and scientists. There are also changing exhibits related to natural history, culture, history or society. Permanent exhibits include artifacts like the camera Robert Peary used at the North Pole and pottery that Jacques Cousteau recovered from a shipwreck.
National Geographic Partners, a for-profit joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (which owns a 73% stake) and the Society (which owns 27%), was established in 2015 to handle commercial activities of the Society, including television channels worldwide (which were already co-owned by the Society and Fox) and magazine publications.The Walt Disney Company assumed 21CF’s share of National Geographic Partners in March 2019.
Most of National Geographic Partners' businesses predate the establishment in 2015, and even the launch of National Geographic Channel in Asia and Europe by the original News Corporation (of which 21st Century Fox is one of the successors) in the late 1990s.
The society formed in October 2007 National Geographic Entertainment division to include Cinema Ventures, Feature Films, Kids Entertainment, Home Entertainment and Music & Radio divisions. Music and Radio division president David Beal was appointed head of Nat Geo Entertainment.
The National Geographic Magazine, later shortened to National Geographic, published its first issue in October 1888, nine months after the Society was founded, as the Society's official journal, a benefit for joining the tax-exempt National Geographic Society. Starting with the February 1910 (Vol XXI, No. 2) issue, the magazine began using its now famous trademarked yellow border around the edge of its covers.
There are 12 monthly issues of National Geographic per year. The magazine contains articles about geography, popular science, world history, culture, current events and photography of places and things all over the world and universe. National Geographic magazine is currently published in 40 local-language editions in many countries around the world. Combined English and other language circulation is around 6.8 million monthly, with some 60 million readers.
In addition to its flagship magazine, the Society publishes several other periodicals:
The Society also ran an online daily news outlet called National Geographic News.
Additionally, the Society publishes atlases, books, and maps. It previously published and co-published other magazines, including National Geographic Adventure , National Geographic Research (a scientific journal), and others,and continues to publish special issues of various magazines.
The Society published a series of books about natural remedies and medicinal herbs. Titles include Guide to Medicinal Herbs,Complete Guide to Natural Home Remedies,Nature's Best Remedies,Healing Remedies, and Natural Home Remedies. The books make claims to describe, among other things, plants, herbs, and essential oils purported to help treat diseases and ailments. While giving some appropriate warnings about such concerns as anecdotal evidence and side effects are given, the books have been criticized from a medical perspective for a number of reasons. These include making recommendations that lack scientific evidence, inconsistent claims from one book to the next as well as internal contradictions, and failure to mention effective and safe alternatives. The journal Skeptical Inquirer devoted thirty-four pages in 2019 discussing these books. Experts such as Harriet Hall, Joe Nickell, Cees Renckens and Barry Kosmin addressed each subject in the series of books. Summing up the series, Hall wrote in a review of the series that, "The author Nancy J. Hajeski is a fiction and nonfiction writer with no medical or scientific credentials. The forward is by Tieraona Low Dog, MD, an integrative medicine specialist. ... which is a marketing term designed to infiltrate quackery into science-based medicine."
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National Geographic Films was a wholly owned taxable subsidiary of the National Geographic Society.
National Geographic Films appointed Adam Leipzig as president in 2004.The society formed in October 2007 National Geographic Entertainment division to include Cinema Ventures and Feature Films. In 2008, the film division and Imagenation formed a $100 million fund to develop, produce, finance and acquire over five years 10-15 films. The first film the fund invested in was The Way Back .
Leipzig left the company in January 2010.On March 15, 2010, former Miramax president Daniel Battsek started as National Geographic Films president. Basttsek ended up also over seeing Nat Geo Cinema Ventures distribution and big screen production before he left in 2012 becoming president of Cohen Media Group.
Films it has produced include:
In 2005, the National Geographic Society acquired the film distribution arm of Destination Cinema and entered the film distribution business.
National Geographic Cinema Ventures (NGCV) was a giant-screen, 3D and specialty films production and distribution company operated under National Geographic Entertainment.
At the late 2011 American Alliance of Museums conference, National Geographic Cinema Ventures launched the Museum Partnership Program as museums want a brand for their giant screen theaters.Starting on February 1, 2018, Cosmic Pictures gained distribution rights to a number of the NGCV library.
The Museum Partnership Program is the branding and content program of National Geographic Cinema Ventures. Partner museums would receive immediate market exclusivity on their 2 new digital 3D films per year and gain access to the National Geographic organization from members to exhibition to television.
There were nine partner museums as of 2012:
Television programs produced by the National Geographic Society are also broadcast on television. National Geographic television specials and series have been aired on PBS and other networks in the United States and globally for many years. The Geographic series in the U.S. started on CBS in 1964, moved to ABC in 1973, shifted to PBS (produced by WQED, Pittsburgh) in 1975, shifted to NBC in 1995, and returned to PBS in 2000. It moved to National Geographic Channel in 2005.
It has featured stories on numerous scientific figures such as Jacques Cousteau, Jane Goodall, and Louis Leakey that not only featured their work but as well helped make them world-famous and accessible to millions. Most of the specials were narrated by various actors, including Glenn Close, Linda Hunt, Stacy Keach, Richard Kiley, Burgess Meredith, Susan Sarandon, Alexander Scourby, Martin Sheen, and Peter Strauss. The specials' theme music, by Elmer Bernstein, was also adopted by the National Geographic Channel.
Another long-running show is National Geographic Explorer .
The original News Corporation launched National Geographic Channel in Asia and Europe in the late 1990s, in partnership with the Society. The Society provides programming to the National Geographic-branded channels worldwide, while, as of March 2019, The Walt Disney Company's subsidiaries (Walt Disney Television in the United States and Fox Networks Group outside the United States) handle distribution of the channels and advertisement sales. The National Geographic Channel has begun to launch a number of sub-branded channels in international markets, such as Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo Kids.
The U.S. domestic version of National Geographic Channel was launched in January 2001 as a joint venture of National Geographic and Fox Cable Networks.
This section needs to be updated.(March 2019)
National Geographic Music and Radio (NGMR) is the music and radio division of National Geographic Ventures. The scope of the division includes National Geographic Live! events, digital music distribution, music publishing, radio content, Nat Geo Music TV channel (available in parts of Asia and Europe) and film and TV music.Clear Channel, Salem Communications and NPR were distribution partners.
In early August 2007, National Geographic Ventures announced the existence of the then-recently formed division. The division was already creating music for its feature film and kids units. Initially hired to run the division were Mark Bauman, executive vice president of radio and video production, and David Beal, head of music labels, publishing and radio operations.With National Geographic Channels, Music and Radio on October 15, 2007 launched the Nat Geo Music channel in Italy.
The society formed in October 2007 National Geographic Entertainment division to include the Music & Radio division and promoted the division president David Beal was appointed head of Nat Geo Entertainment.In 2009, the division became a full-service record label as Nat Geo Music with Mat Whittington appointed as president.
Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific Limited, formerly Satellite Television Asian Region Limited, and subsequently Fox International Channels Asia Pacific Limited, was a Hong Kong-based commercial broadcasting company operating multiple specialty television channels. The company is part of the Fox Networks Group, and since March 2019 is owned by Disney International Operations.
National Geographic is an American pay television network and flagship channel owned by National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (73%) and the National Geographic Society (27%), with the operational management handled by Walt Disney Television.
20th Century Studios Home Entertainment is a home video brand label of Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment that releases films produced by 20th Century Studios, Searchlight Pictures, and 20th Century Animation, and television series by 20th Television, 20th Television Animation, FX, and National Geographic in home entertainment formats.
A&E Networks is an American multinational broadcasting company that is a 50–50 joint venture between Hearst Communications and The Walt Disney Company through its General Entertainment Content division. The company owns several non-fiction and entertainment-based television brands, including its namesake A&E, History, Lifetime, FYI, and their associated sister channels, and holds stakes in or licenses their international branches.
Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group is a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment to manage its motion picture operations. It was launched in 1998 by integrating the businesses of Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. and TriStar Pictures, Inc.
Walt Disney Television is an American entertainment company that oversees television content and assets owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company. Forming the company's General Entertainment division, it was formerly called Disney–ABC Television Group, ABC Group before that, and Capital Cities/ABC initially, until Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox on March 20, 2019. Assets in the group include television networks: ABC Entertainment, Disney Channels, and FX Networks; Disney Television Studios: ABC Signature, 20th Television and 20th Television Animation; and Hulu Originals.
National Geographic is a British pay television channel that features documentaries produced by the National Geographic Society. It features some programming similar to that on the Discovery Channel such as nature and science documentaries. The channel was launched in Europe in September 1997 and time shared initially with the failing NBC Europe until NBC Europe's demise in 1998, at which point it began timesharing with Fox Kids ; with analogue transmission of the channel ending, and the sale of Fox Kids to Disney, timesharing was eventually superseded by 24-hour broadcasting. It was later launched worldwide including in Asia and the United States. Today, the channel is available in over 143 countries, seen in more than 160 million homes and in 25 languages.
Nat Geo People was an international pay television channel owned by National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (73%) and the National Geographic Society (27%). Targeted at female audiences, with programming focusing on people and cultures, the channel is available in 50 countries in both linear and non-linear formats.
Disney Platform Distribution is a business unit within Disney Media and Entertainment Distribution (DMED) that manages all third-party media sales efforts for distribution, affiliate marketing and affiliate-related business operations for all of the company's direct-to-consumer services and linear media networks; content sales agreements for General Entertainment, Studios and Sports; as well as global theatrical film distribution; management of the El Capitan Theatre and the Disney Music Group.
National Geographic Wild is a global pay television network owned by National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company (73%) and the National Geographic Society (27%). The channel primarily focuses on wildlife and natural history non-fiction programming. It is a sister network to National Geographic TV.
Fox Networks Group (FNG) is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company that oversees international television assets that were acquired from 21st Century Fox. It produces and distributes more than 300 entertainment, film, sports and factual channels in 45 languages across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia, using several brands, including Fox, National Geographic, FX, Fox Sports, and BabyTV. Among their non-linear brands were Fox Play and Fox Plus. These brands reached over 1.725 billion households around the world.
Nat Geo Music is a television music channel operated as a part of National Geographic Global Networks, which is a business unit of National Geographic Partners. The channel works in conjunction with the Society's music division National Geographic Music and Radio (NGMR).
National Geographic was a South Korean documentary television channel operated by the Asian operations of National Geographic Global Networks. The channel broadcast non-fiction television programmes, with most of shows coming from the National Geographic Society.
The Walt Disney Company France, formerly Buena Vista International France, is one of The Walt Disney Company's international divisions and also European divisions. It is headquartered in Paris, Île-de-France.
Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., doing business as 21st Century Fox (21CF), was an American multinational mass media corporation that was based in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It was one of the two companies formed from the 2013 spin-off of the publishing assets of News Corporation, as founded by Rupert Murdoch in 1980.
National Geographic Partners, LLC is a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the namesake non-profit scientific organization National Geographic Society. The company oversees all commercial activities related to the Society, including magazine publications and television channels. The company's board of managers is evenly divided between the Society and Disney.
Nat Geo Kids is a Latin American pay television channel targeting children, owned by Disney Channels Worldwide and National Geographic Partners, a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and National Geographic Society.
National Geographic Global Networks is a business unit within National Geographic Partners that oversees the National Geographic-branded television channels: National Geographic, Nat Geo Kids, Nat Geo Music, Nat Geo People and Nat Geo Wild and National Geographic Studios. The unit itself was a joint operation between 21st Century Fox (21CF) and the Society, but it was later integrated into the new joint venture National Geographic Partners which they formed in 2015. On March 20, 2019, 21CF's share in National Geographic Partners was assumed by Disney, following its acquisition of most 21CF businesses.
Though he wasn't one of the original 33 founders, Bell had a major influence on the Society.