News Corp. have completed the next step on their plans to put their entertainment assets under separate control, after company shareholders approved the motion to divide the Rupert Murdoch-owned conglomerate into two.
This new brand, 21st Century Fox, will be not be a challenger to the well-known production studio of the same name, but instead a management facility for all News Corp’s ‘entertainment interests’, such as TV networks Fox, Fox News, National Geographic, and Star TV, along with worldwide pay-tv platforms such as satellite broadcasters Sky.
Meanwhile, a ‘revamped’ version of News Corp. will see them maintain control of all ‘educational & publishing assets’ including newspapers such as Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, and The Sun, amongst others around the world. In a seemingly strange decision considering the black-and-white direction the corporation are taking, one entertainment asset, in the form of Australian broadcasting service Foxtel (and related channels such as the Fox Sports Network), will remain under control of the new News Corp..
The response to the proposal amongst News Corp. shareholders was reportedly one of ‘overwhelming’ agreement, with the move believed to have been partially initiated by the UK phone hacking scandal of 2011, in which a number of Murdoch-owned publications (from News International) were found guilty on several charges.
Rupert Murdoch, will, however, maintain full control over the two separate areas of News Corp., with his role as executive chairman in the former combined with a position as chairman/CEO in the 21st Century Fox branch. He summarised of the confirmation of the new company: “We are pleased that the proposals have been approved by an overwhelming majority of the outstanding shares, and that our shareholders clearly recognise the anticipated benefits of the separation.”
He had previously said of the new 21st Century Fox logo when it was revealed in May: “Today I am proud to unveil our new logo, which serves as a powerful symbol of the inspiration and high bar set by our company. Like our name, the logo reflects the rich creative heritage of 20th Century Fox and signals the promise of the 21st century and our restless drive toward the future.”
While it is currently unclear what that ‘drive towards the future’ will hold, will it be a fresh start that introduces a controversy-free era for both new companies? Probably not, but it’s been proven before that Murdoch can do what he wants: