Murdoch has retained a soft spot for the publishing world where he got his start, recently spending time in London to play a personal role in launching the Sunday edition of the Sun.
Photo by Justin Tallis/AFP/GettyImages.
UPDATE: Rupert Murdoch’s international media conglomeration News Corporation will split into two companies, separating its newspaper and publishing business from its media and entertainment branches in a division process that will play out over the next year, the Financial Times reports.
Newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal and the Times of London, will become part of a separate publishing company that also incorporates HarperCollins. Rupert Murdoch plans to chair both News Corp. and the new entity, and his family will most likely retain its 40 percent voting rights in both companies, according to the Associated Press.
Murdoch released a statement that he remains “100 per cent committed” to both branches, and believes the new structure “would accelerate News Corporations’ businesses to grow to new heights, and enable each company and its division to recognize their full potential.”
Investors have long pressured for a division of the corporations very diverse assets. Murdoch, who has always had a soft spot for the print side of his company, recognized the naysayers in an email to staff: “Our publishing businesses are greatly undervalued by the skeptics.”
Tuesday, June 26: Rupert Murdoch is considering splitting up international media conglomerate News Corp. by shaving the publishing branch off from the much higher-earning film and television assets, according to a report in the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal on Tuesday.
The plan would separate the corporation into two companies, both of which would remain controlled by the Murdoch clan. Two unnamed higher-ups in the company confirmed the plan to Bloomberg, reporting that Murdoch has been presiding over the talks, which are now said to be in late stages.
News Corp.'s television and film assets, which include 20th Century Fox and Fox News, account for about three-quarters of the company’s earnings, far surpassing the publishing branch, which is comprised of HarperCollins, the Journal, the Times of London, and many other newspapers and magazines.
News Corp. has been rocked by a phone-hacking scandal among the company’s U.K. newspapers that resulted in more than 50 arrests, possibly jeopardized a controlling stake in British Sky Broadcasting, and landed Murdoch himself in front of Parliament, the Financial Times reminds us.
Investors, who favor the higher-earning television and film branch, have welcomed the idea of a split for a while, but Murdoch has always been hesitant, retaining a soft spot for the lesser-earning publishing branch. Murdoch built the international media empire from a single Australian newspaper he inherited in the 1950s.