Murdoch 'might sell UK newspapers'

Rupert Murdoch is considering selling all his British newspapers, his biographer has claimed.

Rupert Murdoch is considering selling all his British newspapers, his biographer has claimed.

Michael Woolf alleged that executives at the media mogul’s parent company News Corporation were discussing the possibility of disposing of their UK subsidiary News International, owner of the Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun, as well as the News of the World until it closed yesterday.

But one media analyst said he thought the move “defied logic” and was the “last thing” News Corporation would do.

News Corporation was not available for comment.

Mr Woolf, a Vanity Fair writer who carried out 50 hours of interviews with Mr Murdoch for his biography, 'The Man Who Owns the News', wrote on Twitter: “Get out of Dodge strategy being discussed at News Corp: Sell all of News Int.”

Nicholas Grant, chief executive of Mediatrack Research, suggested that getting rid of News International could have been discussed theoretically in a “whiteboarding” session but said it would be a “major mistake”.

“I think that’s the last thing that they will do. But I’m intrigued that it seems to be fairly well sourced,” he said.

“Without News International, particularly the quality titles that it includes, he (Mr Murdoch) loses considerable credibility. It goes right back to the whole reasons why we had media barons in the first instance.

“Big newspapers give credibility, give access, give influence, give position, open doors and so forth, in a way that other titles don’t.

“Given the bid for BSkyB is looking a little on the slippery slope, there would be very little left if he sold News International.

“It defies logic. If the logic was to sell off the News of the World because it was toxic on the brand, why then do it in two stages?”

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