By Georgie Keate
Rupert Murdoch’s media empire is to be carved down the middle, separating the battered newspaper business from the lucrative film and media side.
The $60 billion company will now have channels like Fox and BSkyB on one side and papers like The Sun, The Times and The Wall Street Journal on the other.
The media mogul has said he will serve as chairman for both companies but will not be chief executive of the publishing arm, following pressures from the phone-hacking scandal.
In a memo to his workers, Mr Murdoch wrote: “News Corp’s size and breadth has created an opportunity to separate it into two global leaders in their own right – we will wow the world as two, as opposed to merely one.”
In an interview on Fox in the US earlier this afternoon, the owner denied suggestions that the split was anything to do with the hacking scandal, claiming it was all for the interests of the company and its shareholders.
On the subject of BSkyB, he said: “There are billions and billions of dollars, and if Britain didn't want 'em, there are plenty of good places to put them here!"