Rupert Murdoch at 90: could he reunify his empire?

Nonagenarian media mogul Rupert Murdoch could try to reverse the 2013 decision to split his media empire in two and re-merge Fox and News Corp.

Rupert Murdoch (pictured) has joined the “tiny ranks of nonagenarians running global empires”, says Mark Sweeney in The Guardian. But he“shows no sign of slowing down”. 

As executive chairman of News Corp, home to papers including The Wall Street Journal and The Times, as well as co-chairman of Fox Corporation, broadcaster of Fox News and NFL games, Murdoch “remains firmly in control”. 

Still, with Fox having to grapple with much larger competitors, such as Disney and AT&T, many experts think that he might try to reverse the 2013 decision to split his empire in two and re-merge Fox and News Corp. Something must be done, since investors seem to have lost confidence in both Fox and News Corp, says The Economist. 

The former is trading at a 30% discount to rivals ViacomCBS and Discovery, while the latter is valued at “less than the sum of its eclectic parts”. Fox has been hit by the rise of streaming, losing nearly 8% of its subscribers last year, while News Corp has suffered from the shift to online advertising. 

Uniting News Corp with Fox may well be Murdoch’s “one last big deal”, says John McDuling in the Sydney Morning Herald. But Murdoch, a big horse-racing fan in his youth, would do better to think about a “punt on the betting industry itself”. 

His interest has been “piqued” by the current battle for Tabcorp, Australia’s largest listed betting company. Under the stewardship of Murdoch’s son Lachlan, Fox has already been investing heavily in the industry. 

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