It had to happen: institutional investors, coupon clippers, and within the family run News Corp, the old lion Rupert Murdoch announced the separation of his news empire in the US and UK from the healthy body of entertainment and television news.
Even the prestigious ‘Times of London’, the ‘Wall Street Journal’, ‘The Sun’, as well as the scurrilous ‘New York Post’ are thought of as parasites on News Corp’s bottom line.
Even though the old man has printer’s blood in his veins, he, too, has to bow to the inevitable that print journalism model has past its prime–mistakenly or not.
Murdoch’s is a wounded elephant owing to the phone hacking scandal in Britain. More to the point, his British papers will be spun off and eventually sold. More still, the cancerous scandal will not only put his trusted henchmen on trial and perhaps in prison for ‘crimes and misdemeanors’, but the enquiry in the US is proceeding along the same lines.
Dumping his newspapers, even the WSJ–which Murdoch vowed would swamp and take over the ‘New York Times’–will avoid tainting the profits of News Corp’s entertainment and television empire.
Cutting off the newspapers will surely put a nail into Murdoch’s coffin, but he has always played hard and fast and furious, and in the end he got caught up in his own clever by half strategy. He has only himself to blame.