News Corp considering split


Rupert Murdoch is considering splitting his News Corp media company into two businesses, one focusing on publishing and the other entertainment, according to two people familiar with the situation.

Mr Murdoch, who is chairman and chief executive officer of News Corp, is overseeing internal discussions on whether to separate the New York-based company's newspaper publishing business from its entertainment operations, said the people, who sought anonymity because no decision has been made.

The talks are at a late stage, one of the people said.

News Corp shareholders have advocated for a breakup to separate the larger film and television operation from newspaper publishing, which has been hurt by slow industry growth and a scandal in the UK.

Chief operating officer Chase Carey said on a February conference call that executives had discussed a breakup following inquiries into hacking and bribery at the company's UK newspapers, a controversy that sank News Corp's bid to buy satellite broadcaster British Sky Broadcasting.

A News Corp official declined to comment today.

The Murdoch family would retain control of both companies, News Corp's Wall Street Journal reported earlier.

The Los Angeles-based Twentieth Century Fox film and television studios, the Fox broadcast network and Fox News would form the bulk of the entertainment company, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the situation.

News Corp gained as much as 3.45 per cent to A$21 in Sydney following the report. The shares fell 1.4 per cent yesterday in New York and have climbed 13 per cent this year.