UPDATE, 7:32 AM: I misread the Murdoch family voting plan and want to clarify. The group will participate — but only up to 39.4% of the total after factoring out the disqualified ballots from non-U.S. citizens. The cap was spelled out in the company’s proxy last September.
PREVIOUS, 5:51 AM: The meeting will take place in NYC’s Citi Auditorium and News Corp shareholders of record as of April 19 will be able to vote, the company says this morning in SEC filings. The process may be a little complicated, though. The decision to split into two companies — one with mostly entertainment assets and the other focused on publishing — involves the transfer of 29 U.S. television station licenses. “Under U.S. federal law, no broadcast station licensee may be owned by a corporation if more than 25% of that corporation’s stock is owned or voted by non-U.S. stockholders if the Federal Communications Commission finds that the public interest will be served by the refusal or revocation of the license,” News Corp says. It has asked the FCC to let non-U.S. shareholders vote on all of the bylaw changes regarding the split but hasn’t received a response yet. If there’s no ruling by the voting date, or the FCC rejects News Corp’s request, then the company will suspend the votes of non-U.S. shareholders. Australia-born CEO Rupert Murdoch became a U.S. citizen in 1985. He and his family, with 39.4% of the voting shares, have agreed not to vote on any of the proposals, but will register as “present” to ensure that there’s a quorum. Another 7% of the votes are controlled by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud.
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