Murdoch warming to News Corp split?

Murdoch warming to News Corp split?
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Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is considering splitting into two according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Its newspaper and book publishing assets would be separated from the more profitable entertainment business, something which shareholders have been pushing for.

Murdoch – whose background is in newspapers – had earlier opposed the move, but the Journal report said he has recently warmed to the idea.

The publishing division includes the HarperCollins book publisher, the education arm and newspapers including The Wall Street Journal, the Times of London, the Sun, the New York Post and The Australian.

The remaining film and television businesses would include 20th Century Fox film studio, Fox broadcast network and Fox News channel. The entertainment business would dwarf the publishing unit, with assets in the entertainment division generating revenues of $23.5 billion (18.8 billion euros) in the year to June 2011, compared with $8.8 billion (7.06 billion euros) for the publishing business.

Analysts believe investors and some management will feel emboldened by the News of the World hacking scandal to push for a change at the company, where the 81-year-old Murdoch has long been seen as the main block to a spin-off of the newspapers.

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