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News Corp. confirms it will be split in two

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Rupert Murdoch confirmed Thursday that News Corp., his $54 billion media conglomerate, will proceed with a plan to divide the company in two — separating newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post, and The Times of London from the fast-growing entertainment unit.

The company said the split would be completed within 12 months, with Murdoch serving as chairman of both companies and chief executive of the entertainment business. Chase Carey would remain chief operating officer of the entertainment group, which would include cable channels like FX and Fox News, the 20th Century Fox studio, and Fox Broadcasting. The directors would decide the head of the publishing business.

In a memo to staff, Murdoch cited the company’s ‘‘spirit of innovation’’ in the decision, which he viewed as an opportunity to free his beloved newspapers from their ugly-stepchild status within the giant corporation.

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