There is talk of transforming News Corp into two companies: One for the newspapers (which don't produce much revenue) and one for the entertainment companies. Although this NYT piece
does not specify, it appears that Fox News will be classified as entertainment.
A lot of people don't understand that Fox News is an anomaly within News Corp. The company really reflects the ethos of Roger Ailes, not Robert Murdoch. Although Murdoch is famously "hands on" when it comes to detailed oversight of his other assets, he leaves Fox alone and reportedly detests much of what Fox does. As David Brock and Ari Rabin-Havt detail in their invaluable The Fox Effect
, News Corp executives seem genuinely afraid
of Fox News.
Some will be surprised to learn that Rupert Murdoch supported Barack Obama in 2008. I'm not sure which candidate has Murdoch's vote now, but he certainly doesn't seem pleased with Mitt Romney
. Moreover, Murdoch has advertised his belief in man-made climate change.
All of this contradicts the party line as delivered by Fox News. They've always hated Obama, and they always feature "experts" from "think tanks" (read: propaganda outfits) who deny climate change.
We need a better Theory of Fox. I don't think we're going to get one from Brock and Rabin-Hayt, as much as I appreciate their work.
As for the News Corp split: It may have some connection to the real
Murdoch scandal, unmentioned by the NYT.