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News Corp’s board approves plan to split the family business

Plans to split News Corporation into two separate companies have been given the go ahead, after the media conglomerate’s board voted in favour of the division.
News Corp's board approves plan to split the family business, headed by Rupert Murdoch © Press Association

Plans to split News Corporation into two separate companies have been given the go ahead, after the media conglomerate’s board voted in favour of the division.

The company confirmed on 28 June the board has tasked management with looking at how family-controlled News Corp could be split into an entertainment business on one side and a publishing and education company on the other.

Rupert Murdoch, whose family controls New Corp through voting rights, said he wanted to chair both companies. He would also serve as chief executive of the media and entertainment business, the company said.

“I am 100% committed to the future of both the publishing and media and entertainment businesses and, if the board ultimately approves a separation, I would serve as chairman of both companies," Murdoch said in a statement.

Under the plans, the publishing and education division would include the group’s US, Australia and UK newspaper empire, including troubled News International, the British company that has been at the centre of the phone-hacking scandal in the UK.

Broadcast assets such as Fox News and 20th Century Fox, as well as the company’s “highly successful pay-TV businesses in Europe and India”, would be brought together in a second business, News Corp said in a statement.

Murdoch, who is currently chairman and chief executive of News Corp, said the board believes the new structure would accelerate growth at the business, whose reputation has been damaged by the phone-hacking scandal.

“We recognise that over the years, News Corporation's broad collection of assets have become increasingly complex. We determined that creating this new structure would simplify operations and greater align strategic priorities, enabling each company to better deliver on our commitments to consumers across the globe,” he added.

The company said it expected the split to be completed in about 12 months.

News of a possible split first emerged on 26 June, with the company later confirming it was "considering a restructuring to separate its business into two distinct publicly traded companies".

This story was updated on 28 June at 15:00 BST to include the company’s statement. 

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