Rupert Murdoch ‘considering reuniting media empire’

Rupert Murdoch - Mike Segar/REUTERS
Rupert Murdoch – Mike Segar/REUTERS

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is reportedly weighing up bringing his best-known titles and brands back under one roof almost ten years after pushing through a split.

Talks are at an early stage over a deal between Fox Corp and News Corp, according to the Wall Street Journal, which said it could result in news outlets including Fox News and The Times and The Sun being reunited under one company.

The Wall Street Journal is also published by Dow Jones, whose parent company is News Corp.

If the deal goes ahead, it would create a juggernaut of a media business, with Fox Corp worth around $17bn (£15bn), while News Corp is worth around $9bn.

Mr Murdoch controls around 39pc of News Corp and 42pc of Fox Corp. He acts as executive chairman of News Corp and chairman of Fox Corp. His son Lachlan Murdoch is also executive chair and chief executive of Fox, as well as co-chairman of News Corp.

The Wall Street Journal said special board committees had been established by both businesses to look at financial terms, although it said there was a possibility a deal may not be reached.

Mr Murdoch split his business in the wake of the News of the World hacking scandal, dividing it into a publishing business, which kept the name News Corp, and a film and TV operation, which included the 20th Century Fox film studios, Fox television network. That business had initially been called 21st Century Fox, but was renamed as Fox Corp.

The talk of a deal between the two comes at a key time for publishers, as the decline of print newspapers accelerates and they race to shift to online more quickly.

Late last month, News Corp brought on a new editor to one of its best-known titles, The Times, hiring the former editor of The Daily Telegraph Tony Gallagher.

It comes after News Corp was hammered during the pandemic. However, results over the summer suggested it was starting to generate growth in digital advertising revenues, with profits almost doubling.

News Corp and Fox Corp did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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