On Saturday (why Saturday?) the company announced that it would sell eight television stations to Oak Hill Capital Partners for roughly $1.1 billion. The stations are scattered nationwide, in cities including Cleveland, Denver, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Birmingham.
Following those sales, News Corp. will own and operate 27 stations, including nine duopolies in major markets. Clearly, unlike Belo
News Corp. will likely follow that sale by jettisoning the community newspapers it obtained in the Dow Jones acquisition. That's not special insight on my part: The company announced an effort to sell those properties a few weeks back, before the Dow Jones deal closed.
It's hard to say which other areas CEO Rupert Murdoch might tinker with, but I'd expect to see more newspapers go, along with Dow Jones' Ottaway properties. After all, News Corp. owns 110 papers of varying descriptions in Australia, along with others in the U.K., Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and of course, the U.S. Publishing seems to have no brighter future abroad than in the U.S., so unless Rupert's tied to the properties because they constitute his heritage, he might make cuts there.
In addition, Murdoch's apparently not wildly enthusiastic about satellite's ultimate ability to complete with cable's triple play, so I doubt that segment will remain a permanent part of his empire. Beyond that, it'll be interesting and informative to watch the changes The Wall Street Journal undergoes in the months ahead.
At the same time, I think News Corp. itself has become a more interesting media-investing opportunity. The careful shaping Murdoch's applying to his baby deserves attention from Foolish investors with a penchant for the sector.
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Fool contributor David Lee Smith owns neither newspapers in Fiji nor shares in any of the companies mentioned. He does welcome your questions or comments. The Fool has a well-traveled disclosure policy.