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President Donald Trump (L) is embraced by Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman of News Corp, during a dinner to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea during WWII onboard the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum May 4, 2017 in New York.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images
Rupert Murdoch is in the early stages of exploring whether to put his media companies News Corp. and Fox Corp. back together, according to a person familiar with the matter.
News Corp. owns Dow Jones, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal. Fox Corp., the leftovers from the $71.3 billion 21st Century Fox sale to Disney in 2019, owns right wing networks Fox News and Fox Business, which is a CNBC competitor.
A combination would allow Murdoch to consolidate leadership in his media empire and cut costs. The discussions come as the audience shrinks for both print media and cable television, as readers and viewers increasingly get their news and entertainment from social media, online news and streaming services.
The Journal first reported the talks Friday. CNBC has reached out to Fox and News Corp. for comment.
Both companies have established committees to consider a re-merger, the Journal said, noting that they could consider other strategic alternatives.
Murdoch, 91, split Fox and News Corp. in 2013. He is the chairman of Fox and the executive chairman of News Corp. His son Lachlan Murdoch is CEO of Fox and co-executive chairman of News Corp.
The Murdoch family has a 42% voting stake in Fox and a 39% voting stake in News Corp., according to the Journal. Fox’s market value is about $17 billion, while News Corp.’s is about $9 billion, as of Friday’s close. Class A shares of News Corp. rose more than 5% after hours, while Fox’s Class A shares were up more than 1% on light volume.
News Corp. also includes book publisher HarperCollins, scandal sheet the New York Post and news outlets in the U.K. and Murdoch’s native Australia. Fox’s holdings also include the Fox broadcast network.
This is breaking news. Check back for updates.
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