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News Corp Divests Local Media Group

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In order to focus more on its core businesses, News Corporation (NWSA) disclosed the sale of the Dow Jones Local Media Group to an affiliate of Fortress Investment Group LLC for an undisclosed amount.

The Dow Jones Local Media Group operates 33 publications, which include 8 daily and 15 weekly newspapers. The sale of the Dow Jones Local Media Group entitles Fortress Investment to the ownership of other newspaper franchises that include the Times Herald-Record, The Record, Cape Cod Times, The Herald, The Standard-Times, The Pocono Record, The Daily Tidings and The Mail Tribune.

This deal comes in the midst of a rapidly changing media landscape where publishing companies have been offloading assets that bear no direct relation with the core operations.

In fact, the publishing industry as a whole has been struggling in terms of revenues and readership due to the increasing availability of online news. This has rendered the print-advertising model increasingly irrelevant.

Recently, Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN) founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos purchased one of the legendary publications in American journalism, The Washington Post for $250 million in cash, while The New York Times Company (NYT) sold the Boston Globe to Red Sox owner John Henry and IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI) divested the Newsweek brand to IBT Media, the publisher of the International Business Times.

News Corporation on the other hand divided its operations into 2 separate publicly traded publishing and entertainment entities. The publishing company comprises publishing businesses, education unit and the integrated marketing services business, while, the entertainment company includes cable and television assets, filmed entertainment, and direct satellite broadcasting businesses.

Currently, News Corporation holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

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