Saturday, 19 May 2012

Telegraph: 'Murdoch's UK papers in trust plan'

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Rupert Murdoch’s News International titles — The Times, Sun and Sunday Times — could be spun off into a trust under plans being worked on by senior News Corp executives.

The trust would work along the lines of a proposal put forward last year for Sky News if BSkyB had been taken over by News Corp. A separate board would manage the business at arms’ length from News Corp.
The Telegraph says that chief operating officer Chase Carey is understood to have instructed executives to look at a number of options to hive off the troubled UK newspaper arm.

It claims: "The move, prompted by the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World, would allow Mr Murdoch’s media empire to restart its bid to take over broadcaster BSkyB. Proposals under consideration include creating a trust to manage the UK newspaper assets, going into a joint venture with a media partner or a direct sale to private equity.

"The plans are in their infancy but News Corp is understood to be serious about ridding itself of assets it sees as fatally contaminated by the phone hacking scandal."

Rupert Murdoch's biographer Michael Wolff , speaking at the LSE last July said the Murdochs would be able to "hold their heads high" in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal if they sold the Sun and used the cash to put The Times and Sunday Times in a trust, similar to the Guardian's Scott Trust.

He said such an arrangement would "save British journalism for another generation or two. People would say 'O.K. let bygones be bygones'."

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