The News Corp. Board of Directors unanimously approved the companies split into two separate entities last night after hearing presentations from financial advisors and chairman, Rupert Murdoch himself.
The split was formally announced in a company memo this morning, and the organization’s print media and broadcast/film entities will be split becoming two separately functioning companies. Murdoch is to remain chairman of both organizations and oversee the split personally.
Current investors will receive one share in each of the new companies for every one they hold presently. The decision is welcome news for many investors who feel that the film and broadcast end of News Corp’s business is weighed down by their print media and publication end. In fact, shares have jumped over 10% since the debate over the split surfaced on Monday.
On top of a near 50% decline in newspaper advertising in the past five years, print publishing faces increasing competition from online news outlets and overall lower profit margins than the television and film business. In other word, the company needs to due something to maintain their ever-thinning and meager 7% profit margin.
Other experts warn that the film and television broadcast media end of News Corp’s business isn’t recession proof either, and in the past five years they have faced major threats from a decline in advertising expenditures and major loses in DVD sales, which have traditionally been big money-makers for film companies.
Still, the split and a strategic reorganization could be the best thing for both sides of the business. Murdoch claims he came to the decision to spin off the two companies after a three year long review of how the company functions, and he believes both entities will emerge stronger and better managed.
In any event, the company is splitting and the process will take over a year to complete. Whether they emerge stronger and more competitive is yet to be seen. We’ll keep you updated as things evolve with the News Corp. split.