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Rupert Murdoch Is Selling His Failed Education Business To Joel Klein

The former New York schools chief will step down as CEO of Amplify, but is part of a management team leading a buyout of the business.

Posted on September 30, 2015, at 6:32 p.m. ET

Carlo Allegri / Reuters

Rupert Murdoch and Joel Klein

Rupert Murdoch's failed education venture, Amplify, is being sold to a management team that includes Joel Klein, Amplify's CEO, according to an internal email to the company's staff obtained by BuzzFeed News. Amplify fired about 40% of its 1200-person staff earlier today.

Klein, a close ally of Murdoch's who was formerly the chancellor, of the New York City public school system, is stepping down as Amplify's CEO, the email said, but will continue to serve on Amplify's board.

In August, Murdoch's News Corp announced that it was writing down the value of its Amplify unit, which it had previously heralded as an attempt to disrupt the education industry. Troubled early on by a high-profile scandal involving the meltdown of its signature tablets, Amplify's failure to make any significant inroads in the education industry marked a rare defeat for Murdoch.

News Corp announced the sale of Amplify in a press release, but did not reveal the purchaser or the sale price, saying only that the business will be sold to "a management team supported by a group of private investors."

"We are extremely proud of the crucial work that the Amplify team has done to create a digital platform for the future," News Corp CEO Robert Thomson said in the announcement. "All who have been involved in the Amplify business at News Corp should be conscious of their contribution to education in the US and beyond."

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.