rupert murdoch divorce

Film studio and TV division will retain 20th Century Fox name

News Corp. will rename its entertainment operations 21st Century Fox after the conglom spins off its publishing assets later this year.

The moniker replaces the previously proposed name Fox Group.

“Our new name is inspired by the very first company we acquired nearly 30 years ago as our initial foray into the awe-inspiring world of entertainment,” News Corp. chairman-CEO Rupert Murdoch said in a statement on Tuesday, referring to 20th Century Fox. “And what a journey it has been.”

News Corp.’s entertainment assets include Fox’s film and TV studios, the former of which Murdoch referred to as “the most consistently profitable film studio in Hollywood.” Television operations include the Fox News Channel, Fox Sports Network, National Geographic Channels and FX. Both studios will retain the name 20th Century Fox “in recognition of their rich histories and strong connections with audiences across the globe,” according to Murdoch.

Murdoch will serve as chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox and chairman of the publishing company. The publishing unit, which includes the Wall Street Journal, the Times and Sunday Times of London, the New York Post and HarperCollins book publishing, will retain the News Corp. name, underscoring Murdoch’s emotional ties to the print world. Murdoch began building his media empire with a newspaper in Australia, and his move to spin off News Corp.’s publishing divisions was largely seen as a way to preserve those assets.

Facing pressure from investors and declines in newspaper sales, News Corp. first announced plans to separate its entertainment and publishing assets in June. The split is expected to be completed by the middle of this year.

Robert Thomson, managing editor of the Wall Street Journal and editor in chief of Dow Jones and Co., will become CEO of the publishing division, while Chase Carey will become 21st Century Fox’s president and COO.

In December, the conglom shuttered its ambitious but failed iPad newspaper the Daily in preparation for the split.

News Corp. said the separation was still subject to regulatory and other approvals from the conglom’s board of directors and shareholders.

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