Media giant News Corp. is contributing $20 million toward the Motion Picture & Television Fund, giving the Woodland Hills charity a much-needed financial boost.
The Motion Picture & Television Fund said in a statement Wednesday morning that News Corp., owner of the 20th Century Fox Studios and Fox Broadcasting, made the gift as part of the endowment campaign for the fund. The nonprofit group provides health and social services to active and retired entertainment industry workers.
“THE MPTF is vital to the long-term health of the entertainment industry and provides crucial support to many valued members of the creative community,” Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp., said in a statement. “I’m so pleased we can play a role in its ongoing success and hope that this commitment will spur others within the entertainment community to get involved and join this important mission.”
The contribution follows a $30-million donation to the fund in June by the family foundation of Barry Diller, chairman of IAC/InterActiveCorp., and his wife, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg.
In February, fund officials announced a campaign to raise $350 million in support of the charity and its famous nursing home that was once scheduled to close.
DreamWorks Animation Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg had helped secure more than $200 million in pledges and donations that included his own contribution and those of Tom Cruise, Steven Spielberg, Steve Bing, Casey Wasserman and George Clooney.
Katzenberg, chair of the fund’s campaign, praised Murdoch as a long-time supporter of the organization and said “this incredible commitment from News Corp. is the ultimate expression of generosity.”
The campaign followed a decision by the fund’s board to readmit patients to the nursing home, which was established to care for retiring actors and other performers. The fund’s board sparked a furor in Hollywood when it announced plans in January 2009 to shut down the nursing home because of heavy financial losses.
But fund executives said cost-cutting and fundraising efforts made it possible for the charity to operate a smaller nursing home with about 40 residents, instead of the more than 130 it had in 2009. The fund also has partnered with UCLA Health System to operate a geriatric psychiatric unit at the skilled nursing home.