Murdoch drama ignites fresh talk of papers sale | Business
Will they or won’t they? The City was abuzz with speculation today about the fate of News Corporation’s newspaper division following the departure of News International chief James Murdoch.
News Corp chief operating officer Chase Carey poured oil on the fire by publicly admitting the company had considered a sale or spin-off of the titles including the Sun and The Times. He told US investors “there certainly is an awareness” that the company would be worth more if it did not own the papers.
Carey admitted he had held talks with News Corp executives about a sale or spin-off following the News of the World phone hacking scandal.
However, analysts poured cold water on the idea that the company was poised to jettison the operation.
Speculation has been fuelled by the exit of Rupert Murdoch’s son, James, which some observers claimed meant the family was loosening its ties with the UK newspapers.
But Claire Enders, founder of Enders Analysis, said Carey’s comments were expected and that News Corp remains committed to the papers, pointing out it has invested an estimated $50 million
(£31.3 million) in the launch of The Sun’s Sunday edition.
Enders said: “I really don’t think the idea that Rupert Murdoch launches The Sun on Sunday and by Thursday there’s a long-term plan to get rid of the newspapers makes any cognitive sense.”