Murdoch's News Corp to split in two – with one CEO role left hanging
News Corp's board has unanimously voted to split the company in two.
In line with rumours earlier in the week, there will be two separately listed companies – one holding News' film and TV assets, the other its publishing assets and troubled newspaper business.
The News Corp-owned Wall Street Journal, which first reported the proposed carve up, says the idea has been discussed internally for several years, with Mr Murdoch recently warming to it amid the UK phone hacking scandal.
An entertainment, company – with Rupert Murdoch as chairman and CEO – will hold the highly profitable 20th Century Fox, Fox News and the Fox broadcast network.
A CEO has yet to be named for the publishing company, which will include News Corp's education business, HarperCollins and newspapers including including The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, The Australian and its scandal-hit UK tabloids.
The split requires approval at special shareholder vote.
Mr Murdoch promised the financially-challenged publishing division would be in a "robust net cash position".
If it is approved, the spin-off is expected to take around 12 months to complete.
Earlier today, Fox News asked Mr Murdoch if his oldest son would take over the spun-off publishing business.
“Lachlan is very happy running his own businesses in Australia and loves living there,” Mr Murdoch replied. “I think it’s highly unlikely.”
Asked about the prospects of both Lachlan and younger son, James, the 81-year-old media mogul said: “They have to earn it and they have to want it.”
The youngest Murdoch son, James, and his sister Elisabeth are expected to have positions reporting to News Corp President and Chief operating officer Chase Carey, who will also be CEO at the proposed entertainment company.
News Corp shares [NYSE:NWSA] which surged more than 8% as news of a probable split leaked on Wednesday, were down 1.14% in late trading.