- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) - Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is reportedly considering splitting its publishing and entertainment businesses into two companies.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter it did not name, reported late Monday that a split would put the 20th Century Fox film business and the Fox TV networks into a separate company from News Corp.’s newspaper and book publishing businesses.

The Journal reported late Monday that a final decision has not yet been made. The newspaper is owned by News Corp.

News Corp. shares rose $1.02, or 5 percent, to $21.30 in premarket trading Tuesday. If the gains carry over into regular trading, the share price would surpass its 52-week high of $20.94 set in mid-May.

The entertainment business would also include the Fox News, Sports and Business channels, the report said. The Publishing businesses also include the New York Post, The Times and Sun of London, the Dow Jones news service and the Harper Collins publishing imprints.

News Corp.’s entertainment business accounted for about 75 percent of the company’s revenue in the first three months of the year.

The newspaper says Murdoch has long opposed the idea but has warmed to it. His family controls about 40 percent of the company.

The discussions come as the company deals with an investigation into alleged phone-hacking by its U.K. newspapers.

A call to News Corp. representatives was not immediately returned.

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