It's not that I like the Murdochs. It's that I'm about to get the pure play the Murdochs have been building. And now that the company seems to be accelerating its break-up plans, hoping to get the deal done by the end of the year, I'm going to make one more effort to get you on board the profit train.
Those who are analyzing NWS as a single entity, like Saibus Research, have it wrong. It's also wrong to look at this as purely a "cable programming" story, as Saibus does, because that's not where the money is.
The money lies in the 43% of the company's revenues that are filmed entertainment, TV broadcasting, and direct satellite broadcasting. These represent a virtuous cycle, an integrated system of guaranteed profit similar to what is held by Disney (NYSE:DIS) and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). Fox creates a movie or TV show, which Fox owns or controls, then it broadcasts that show on a Fox TV or satellite system, charging Fox and collecting both advertising and subscriber revenues. The quality or politics of the entertainment means less than the guarantee of profit.
The whole aim of this break-up is to split the company as much as possible away from its political troubles. The Fox News and Fox Business channels are entertainment, they are not news, and putting them into this package should emphasize that important point.
Disney and Comcast have shown News Corp. the way. You keep building your channel footprint, you gain control over which channels are broadcast through control of the broadcasting platform, then you expand your own offerings to infinity and beyond.
When the break-up happens, you sell the publishing stock at the earliest opportunity, you keep the entertainment unit, and you ride that to the bank. Murdoch himself is over 80, his kids aren't likely heirs even on the entertainment side - because like James they've been tainted by politics over the years - so the aim of the company is going to be to cash out.