The beleaguered News Corp., burdened by an ever-worsening scandal regarding illegal phone-hacking, may be forced to unload its remaining newspapers in Great Britain, according to Rupert Murdoch’s biographer.
The highly-profitable and wildly popular News of the World tabloid was shut down last Sunday.
But Michael Wolff, who wrote Inside the Secret World of Rupert Murdoch, told the Daily Telegraph newspaper that a segment of News Corp.’s inner circle have wondered why the company owns any tabloids anyway
News International, the UK subsidiary of News Corp, also currently owns The Sunday Times, The Times (of London) and The Sun.
There's no way for the company to come out of this [crisis] in a way that doesn't leave it hopelessly diminished, he said.
Reportedly, News Corp.’s newspaper segment, which also includes several publications in Australia and the US, represent an ever-declining share of overall corporate profits. The company’s film business and cable television division deliver the lion’s shares of profits.
However, such a disposal would be painful to the Australian native Murdoch who has dominated British journalism for half a century.
David Bank, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets in New York, told the Telegraph: Newspapers are not an insignificant part of the business but people don't perceive News Corp as a newspaper company.”For the most part it's seen as a cable television company, but Rupert is a news guy at heart.
Similarly, James Dix, an analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles: Newspapers are a business that mean more to Murdoch than to the investment community. But it would depend a little bit on what you get for them.