News Corp admits it is looking at splitting business

Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation today (26 June) confirmed that it is considering separating its media empire into two "distinct publicly traded companies".

Rupert Murdoch: chairman and chief executive of News Corporation
Rupert Murdoch: chairman and chief executive of News Corporation

News Corporation's disclosure follows reports that it was looking at splitting its publishing arm – which would include UK newspapers The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun – from its bigger entertainment division.

The entertainment division would include the group's 20th Century Fox film studio and its Fox News channel.

The news of the move to split the business comes in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal at the company, which led to the closure of the News of the World and the departure of several key executives.

A final decision has not yet been made.

The splitting of the Murdoch empire would be welcome by outside shareholders in the company, which are more interested in the performance of its faster-growing entertainment side of the business, rather than the publishing side.

In May this year, Chase Carey, News Corp's chief operating officer, acknowledged on an investor call that some investors wanted a spinoff of its newspaper assets.

Carey, who has been tipped as a future replacement for Murdoch, is understood to be more interested in a split of the business than Murdoch, who has remained faithful to the group's national newspapers despite recent problems.

Follow John Reynolds on Twitter @johnreynolds10

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