Over a decade after their separation, the two parts of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire are in talks of coming together once again. Sudden, but intriguing? Absolutely! The combination would bring Murdoch’s Fox News and TMZ assets with News Corp’s newspaper and online news operations together. This includes major news outlets like The Wall Street Journal, New York Post (US), The Sun (UK), the Times, and the Australian.
News Corp confirmed that directors of the companies are setting up a unique committee consisting of “independent and disinterested” members of the board, to get a move on exploring the possibilities offered by this partnership.
Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, informed staff about the likely combination, Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.
The media mogul split his empire in 2013 after many years of global expansion, placing the print business in the newly created News Corp, and the TV/entertainment under 21st Century Fox. Murdoch explained that during this time period, his multiple media holdings became increasingly complex, hinting that a new structure would make things more simple.
The idea at the time was that separating the companies would potentially generate more value for shareholders, according to someone familiar with the decision-making that was made. That vision came to life when Fox sold the majority of its film and television assets to Walt Disney for a whopping $71 billion in 2019.
From there, Fox focused mainly on live events like sports and news, rather than scripted entertainment that can be abundantly found on streaming apps. Many of the major streaming services have begun branching out, however, which is a controversial move. Media pioneers Amazon and Apple have both started bidding for sports in order to gain rights to stream soccer, baseball, and football games.
Murdoch, who is now 91, currently has almost-controlling stakes in both Fox and News Corp. His son, Lachlan Murdoch, is also CEO and chairman of Fox Corp. Companies that adopt arrangements such as this one typically make subsequent mergers that are subject to approval. It’s unclear if this is going to be the case, however. More will definitely be seen in the future as this potential merging folds out.