Murdoch splitting News Corp as he rejigs top jobs

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The Independent Online

Rupert Murdoch has split his publishing and TV businesses sooner than expected, making a string of sweeping changes across his media empire, including at his troubled London newspapers arm News International.

Mr Murdoch confirmed that the global newspapers business will retain the News Corporation name while the TV and film division will be known as Fox Group.

Robert Thomson, editor of the Wall Street Journal and former editor of The Times in London, will take over from Mr Murdoch as chief executive of News Corp.

The veteran media mogul remains as chairman but is taking a more hands-off role, fuelling speculation that he could sell some of the publishing assets in future.

In contrast, Mr Murdoch will stay in full, day-to-day control of Fox Group as chairman and chief executive.

News Corp said the publishing entity will keep its historic name because it was "in keeping with the company's 60-year heritage of bringing news to the world".

Mr Thomson's elevation was expected, but it is still a big promotion because the Australian financial journalist will be chief executive of a listed company.

He will oversee an empire that includes The Times, The Sun and book publishers HarperCollins. Gerard Baker, a Briton, takes over as editor of the Wall Street Journal.

Tom Mockridge, the chief executive of News International in London, has quit after missing out on the job that went to Mr Thomson.

Mr Mockridge said: "The reason I am leaving is that the new structure does not offer me a role I am comfortable with."

In a surprise move, Mr Murdoch has raided pay-TV giant BSkyB to recruit its chief operating officer, Mike Darcey, as Mr Mockridge's replacement.

Mr Darcey has a reputation as a tough operator who cracked down on costs at Sky.

Mr Murdoch revealed separately that he was shutting The Daily, a special iPad-only newspaper that he launched in New York last year.

Tom Mockridge has been with News Corporation for 22 years and is likely to receive a large pay-off. Predecessor Rebekah Brooks reportedly got £7m when she quit last year.