Breakingviews

Tribune politics play into Murdoch’s hands

July 10, 2013

The idea of the conservative Koch brothers buying newspapers in pro-Obama LA and Chicago may have made Tribune’s owners wary of a sale. The chosen spinoff, however, could foreshadow a deal with newly separated News Corp, putting the tainted Murdoch in a rare white-knight role.

Zuckerberg and Murdoch rock air-governance shows

June 11, 2013

Facebook breezed through its first annual meeting. News Corp’s shareholders agreed to split the company. Both may have served the greater good, but when founders dominate the voting, it’s not a given. Other stock owners are, for the most part, merely along for the ride.

Disney chief’s unlikely fairy godfather: Murdoch

November 21, 2012

With News Corp snapping up a piece of the Yankees TV network, Bob Iger’s battle with Rupert Murdoch is becoming more intense. But News Corp’s rich price for the deal implies a punchy valuation for Disney’s much-coveted ESPN. That could make the whole Magic Kingdom worth more.

Investors may live with outrageous News Int payoff

October 16, 2012

Rebekah Brooks, the former CEO of News Corp’s UK newspapers, is reported to have received a 7 mln stg “payoff”. Unspecified sums for legal fees may well reduce any personal payments. Only the hope that News Corp is reforming itself could dampen shareholder objections.

FT sale would defy today’s financial times

October 4, 2012

With the exit of the CEO of Pearson, the pink newspaper’s parent company, chances rise that the FT will change hands. But valuing it on standard industry metrics won’t reveal its worth to billionaires and media giants. The paper’s trophy status could make it a 1 bln pound asset.

Who will run Murdoch’s grand newspaper spinoff?

September 25, 2012

With a key UK regulatory judgment on BSkyB out of the way, News Corp can focus on cleaving its newspaper empire. Critically for investors, that means picking a CEO. Wall Street Journal boss Robert Thomson appears in pole position. His appointment would spark a chain reaction.

BSkyB should start to build in new bid premium

September 20, 2012

The UK media watchdog has savaged James Murdoch for mishandling the phone-hacking affair, but affirmed that News Corp is fit to be a big shareholder in BSkyB. News Corp is changing. But the logic of taking full control of Sky before the next UK election is strong.

Murdoch deal is a non-core disposal – not a split

June 28, 2012

After Brangelina or bananas split, two more or less equal halves remain. To suggest that News Corp’s doing anything similar sounds more like wishful journalistic thinking than clear arithmetic. The Printco’s value amounts to no more than around 6 pct of News Corp’s market cap.

Split wouldn’t fix all News Corp’s shortcomings

June 27, 2012

Spinning off the scandal-hit publishing arm could make the core movie and broadcasting businesses more focused and valuable. So outside investors should approve. But News Corp’s political rehabilitation may be slow, especially if the Murdoch family keeps control of both parts.

Murdoch all but erases discount he inflicted

June 26, 2012

When the phone-hacking scandal struck News Corp and its shares last year, a Breakingviews calculator found the company trading in the market at about 30 pct less than its sum-of-the-parts value. Plans to spin off the publishing arm may complete an improbable run to close the gap.