News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch confirmed reports that he will divide the corporation into two companies—one for television and entertainment, one for newspapers and publishing—in a message to employees today.
The lengthy memo, obtained by the The New York Times, touches on everything from the First Amendment to the iPad but does not mention the ongoing phone-hacking and bribery scandal in the UK. Some think the restructuring, on which they’ll reportedly be advised by Goldman Sachs, is an attempt to protect top management from this or future messes.
“Our publishing businesses are greatly undervalued by the skeptics,” Mr. Murdoch wrote. “Through this transformation we will unleash their real potential, and be able to better articulate the true value they hold for shareholders.”
According to the memo, Mr. Murdoch will “personally” lead the creation of the new companies. He will serve as chairman of both organizations and the CEO of the television and entertainment half. Chase Carey will be his COO. No word on who will head up the news and publishing division.
And it sounds like he’s in good spirits:
“Over the years, I have become accustomed to the noise of critics and naysayers…and pretty thick-skinned! Remember what they said when we started the Fox Network, Sky, Fox News and The Sun? These experiences have made me more resilient. And they should you, as well. And time and time again, we persevered, creating new businesses, new products, telling new stories, informing and educating the public in new ways — and giving jobs to thousands more people.”
One reason for triumphalism: News Corp. share price surged 6.6% after the company confirmed it was considering a split on Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune.