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Rupert Murdoch Teases Recombining NewsCorp and Post-Disney Fox: ‘Ideally Yes’

”But that’s years away,“ says media kingpin

Now that Disney has snatched up much of his film and TV business, Fox head honcho Rupert Murdoch can see a future with a combined 21st Century Fox and News Corp. — his mass media juggernaut — but not on the near horizon.

“I don’t know. Ideally, yes. But that’s years away,” Murdoch said on Fox Business on Thursday morning, responding to a question on whether “new Fox” would join forces with NewsCorp, the print publishing portion of Murdoch’s media empire from which Fox was spun off as a separate company in 2013.

On Thursday, Disney officially announced it would acquire much of 21st Century Fox for $52.4 billion in stock.

Disney grabs a treasure trove of Fox assets, including the film and TV studios, cable channels like FX and Nat Geo, and Fox’s regional sports networks.

Meanwhile, the Murdoch-run Fox will retain the Fox Broadcasting network and 28 owned-and-operated U.S. TV stations, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, FS1, FS2 and Big Ten Network. These will be formed into a “new FOX” company that will be spun off to its shareholders.

Earlier in the morning, Murdoch said there wasn’t much traction to fusing the two media wings of his empire yet.

“We haven’t thought of combining [new Fox] with News Corp.,” Murdoch said on a call with investors following the deal.

He expanded on this with Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business, saying the two companies will remain distinct for the time being.
“All the newspapers are News Corp., a separate $10 billion company. The new Fox will have Fox news, Fox Business, Fox Broadcasting, Fox Sports,” said Murdoch. “But the point is, it will have a cash flow of at least $2 billion a year after everything. So we can see expanding that and building another great company there.”
Shares of News Corp were down about 0.2 percent to $16.25 in early trading on Thursday; 21st Century Fox, after opening to a muddled response from Wall Street, was up more than 2 percent to $33.50 an hour into trading.