The chief executive of News Corp's new stand-alone publishing division has warned of “relentless” cost cuts across the business.
At a meeting to woo investors in New York, Murdoch and his senior lieutenants outlined the future of the new News Corp, which will split from his entertainment businesses next month.
The rebranded News Corp stable will be led by chief executive Robert Thomson, who told investors (according to Reuters): “We will be relentless in our cost-cutting and in our pursuit of profits.”
Currnet News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch hinted that he would look to expand his publishing empire, which includes The Sun, The Times, The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones. The 82-year-old said the portfolio was “undervalued and underdeveloped”, adding that “there is opportunity everywhere”.
According to Reuters, there is speculation that the media magnate could put in bids for a number of newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. He said he would look at opportunities if “the price is right” but said US rules that prevented a single parent company owning TV stations and newspapers in the same market could scupper plans.
Dow Jones chief executive Lex Fenwick reportedly used the occasion to introduce a new platform for the newswire service, codenamed DJ X, which he said offered “a real opportunity to increase our market share”.
Meanwhile, News Corp has also unveiled its new logo, written in a font based on the handwriting of Murdoch and his father Keith.
Murdoch has further signalled his commitment to News Corp by changing the rules of News Corp to make it difficult for an outside investor to take control of the company.
News Corp comes into being on 28 June and the poison pill rules will last for a year. These allow existing shareholders (including members of the Murdoch family) to buy new shares at a 50 per cent discount if any outside investor builds up more than 15 per cent stake in the company's class B voting shares.
Meanwhile News Corp's current entertainment and TV business, far more profitable than the publishing side, will become a new company called 21st Century Fox.
Murdoch and his sons Lachlan and James are the only News Corp directors to retain seats on both boards. The Murdoch family retains a 39.4 per cent stake in both sides of the business
Rupert Murdoch will remain chairman and chief executive of 21st Century Fox, with Chase Carey as chief operating officer. He will be executive chairman at the new News Corp.