Report News Corp Split-up Could Come Today
Rupert Murdoch has confirmed that he is planning to split his giant News Corp media empire in two. They will not be of equal size, however. His entertainment division, composed primarily of 20th Century Fox studios, the Fox television network, the Fox News and FX cable channels and other media outlets in the U.S. and such international operations as BSkyB and India's Star TV, accounts for more that 3/4 of New Corp's revenue, while the print division, consisting of his newspaper and publishing businesses accounts for the remainder. Investors reacted enthusiastically to the plan, which would, if nothing else, quarantine the scandal-plagued newspaper division, which has stymied growth of the entertainment units. Shares in the company were sent soaring 6 percent on Tuesday and, by midday today, another 3 percent, boosting them to a 52-week high. Analysts suggested that the split-up could open the door for a new bid for the remaining portion of BSkyB that News Corp does not own. Writing in the Independent, James Moore, the newspaper's deputy business editor, described the move as "a feint designed to wrong-foot at least some of his opponents -- a technique at which which Mr. Murdoch has proved to be very adept." Questions remain, however, about who would take over the leadership of the separated companies. Reporting on Murdoch's plan, Britain's Guardian newspaper commented that the split would likely "set off a power grab worthy of Game of Thrones ." The News Corp board is expected to vote on it today (Wednesday) and announce its decision on Thursday.