Rupert Murdoch's News Corp Considers Split

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Media (Frankfurt: 725292 - news) giant News Corporation (NasdaqGS: NWS - news) has confirmed it is considering separating its publishing and entertainment businesses.

The move would split the company in two, moving its larger more lucrative film and tv business, including Fox News, the 20th Century Fox film studio and the Fox broadcast network, away from the smaller, less profitable newspaper and publishing business including The Times, The Sun and HarperCollins book publishing.

News Corporation owns a 39% stake in BSkyB (LSE: BSY.L - news) , the parent company of Sky News.

Earlier this year, News Corp’s chief operating officer Chase Carey said that the board and management has discussed the split but at the time didn’t have any plans to pursue the idea.

Such a move could be welcomed by shareholders – News Corporation’s entertainment assets accounted for 90% of the company’s operating profit in the first nine months of this fiscal year.

According to the New York Times, the Murdoch family would probably retain control of the newly divided companies.

The Wall Street Journal reports that a final decision has not yet been made by chairman Rupert Murdoch, who previously opposed the move but who appears, according the paper’s sources, to have “warmed” to the idea recently.

The possible split comes in the wake of the hacking scandal which led to the closure of the News of The World, the resignation of a number of senior executives, and the abandoning of News Corporation’s bid to buy the shares in BSkyB it did not already own.