News Corporation formally announced its intention to split its entertainment and publishing businesses on Wednesday morning, capping a week of speculation over whether Rupert Murdoch would unbundle the media empire he's built for more than half a century.
The plan, approved by News Corp's board Wednesday, would create two companies: one housing the lucrative entertainment and cable properties, the other operating the low-growth publishing, newspaper and education businesses.
Rupert Murdoch, chairman & CEO of News Corporation , will serve as chairman for both companies, and he will hold the CEO title at the entertainment division, parent to FOX News and minority shareholder in British broadcaster BSKyB.
Chase Carey, long Rupert's right-hand man and COO — as well as a longtime proponent of splitting the businesses, will snag the COO spot at the same division.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the (much-expected) announcement, though, is the absence of James Murdoch. The younger Murdoch served for four years as CEO of BSkyB, where three months ago he relinquished the title of chairman; on the publishing side, he ran News Corp's international properties, serving as the executive target for a deep phone-hacking scandal that has rocked the UK newspaper industry for several years.
With deep experience in both industries, investors expect James will retain a plum assignment within the organization where, until the split is effected, he remains a board member and deputy COO. Perhaps we'll learn the answer on today's conference call.
-By CNBC's Kayla Tausche