News Corp board approves split, Murdoch stays chairman

Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:27am EDT
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By Yinka Adegoke

(Reuters) - News Corp said on Thursday its board approved a plan to split the company into two publicly traded entities, with Rupert Murdoch remaining as chief executive of a new, separate entertainment company.

The company will split the $60 billion media conglomerate into publicly traded publishing and entertainment companies, with Murdoch as chairman of both, and his family retaining control. It didn't name an executive to lead the new publishing business.

On a conference call with analysts, Murdoch said the company is in "no hurry" to name a CEO for the unit that will house its struggling newspapers.

News Corp Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey will remain in that role in the new entertainment business.

News Corp's board, overseen by the 81-year-old Murdoch, met on Wednesday and authorized management to move ahead with the separation, the company said.

Murdoch said in an interview with Reuters that his mind had made up for some time on the decision to break up his 60-year-old company.

"It's a very big move and very big decision for me," he said on the call.

The transaction is expected to take about 12 months to complete. News Corp shareholders will receive one share of common stock in each new company for each of the same class of News Corp share currently held.   Continued...

A sign is seen outside News Corporation building in New York, June 27, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid