Rupert Murdoch to focus on America as he steps back from newspapers

Posted on July 2, 2012

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Murdoch to chair both companies
Chase Carey to be COO of entertainment unit
Split to be complete in a year

• Murdoch claims split is nothing to do with phone hacking

The 81-year old billionaire said his thinking had “moved on” when asked whether News Corp would consider another bid for the rest of BSkyB, the UK’s largest pay-TV company.

“There are billions and billions of dollars, and if Britain didn’t want ‘em, there are plenty of good places to put them here (in the US)” he said in an interview with Fox Business. “I’m much more bullish about America than I am about England.”

News Corp’s chief executive and chairman on Thursday confirmed plans to carve the company into two separately listed businesses, and for him to step back from the day-to-day running of its publishing operations. Mr Murdoch claimed that the move had “nothing whatsoever” to do with phone hacking at the News of the World, which last summer forced News Corp to drop its 7.8bn pound bid for 61pc of BSkyB it does not own.

The move to split the company came after News Corp’s board voted unanimously to approve a plan that will take a year to complete. Mr Murdoch will remain as chairman of both companies, but he will only be chief executive of the unit housing News Corp’s television and entertainment assets, including 20th Century Fox, the Fox broadcasting network and News Corp’s 39pc stake in BSkyB. News Corp’s chief operating officer, Chase Carey, will also be aligned himself with the entertainment operation, becoming its president and chief operating officer.

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