Media conglomerate News Corporation, controlled by the Murdoch family, confirmed today (26 June) that it is considering splitting its business – a move that will separate its film and television operations from its publishing division.
If the split goes ahead, there will be two publicly traded companies, said a statement from the family business. One will include broadcast assets such as Fox News and 20th Century Fox, while the publishing arm will consist of newspapers like the Wall Street Journal, the Sun and the Times.
The split will also mean the group’s entertainment division, which accounted for around three-quarters of the group’s $25.34 billion (€20.34 billion) revenue for the nine months ending 31 March, will be considerably larger than its publishing arm. The broadcast side also brought in the bulk of the company’s profits.
A spokesperson for the family-run company was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.
No decision on the split has been made yet by the New York City-based group, chaired by family member Rupert Murdoch. The 81-year-old has previously rejected such a move, often discussed internally. According to the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the situation, Murdoch has recently “warmed to the idea”.
However, the report said the split isn’t expected to change the Murdochs 40% voting stake in News Corp, whose UK-based newspaper operations have been at the centre of a recent phone-hacking scandal.
It resulted in the closure of the News of the World tabloid, the resignation of a number of senior executives and saw James Murdoch, son of Rupert, step down as chairman of BSkyB, the UK broadcaster partly owned by News Corp.