News Corp files with US regulators on split

Media conglomerate News Corp announced Friday that it had filed a document with US regulators detailing its split into two independent companies.

The statement did not specify a date for the split into one company focused on news and publishing, to retain the News Corp name, and another on television and film, to be called Fox Group.

The company had announced the restructuring in June, a move partly seen as a nod to shareholders angered by the reputational damage and costs inflicted by a phone hacking scandal in Britain, and partly because of troubles within the group's publishing arm.

Friday's announcement was "another important step forward in the evolution of our company and in the establishment of two independent global leaders in Fox Group and the new News Corporation," chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said in the statement.

The company has been actively preparing for the restructuring.

In early December, Murdoch named people to top posts for the new branches, and announced the end of the media group's iPad newspaper The Daily.

According to financial data released in Friday's filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the new News Corp. saw a net loss of $2.075 billion for the year ended June 30, compared to a profit of $678 million a year earlier. Revenues were $8.65 billion.

The document lists business risks, including a decline in spending by advertisers and a possible decrease in circulation and audience share as consumers migrate elsewhere.

The document also references investigations by UK and US regulators relating to phone hacking, illegal access to information, and payments to public officials at "The News of the World" and "The Sun."

"We are not able to predict the ultimate outcome or cost of the investigations," it said.

News Corp's publishing division has annual revenues of $8.8 billion and in addition to the Wall Street Journal it owns the New York Post.

In London, News Corp owns The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun, as well as newspapers in Australia and the HarperCollins publishing house.

The Fox Group will include the 20th Century Fox studios, Fox broadcasting operations and cable television, with annual revenues of $23.5 billion.

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