Whoever said breaking up is hard to do never had to run a large company in a weak economy.
Just ask Rupert Murdoch, who June 28 will split News Corp. into 21st Century Fox, a TV/movie pure play, and the new News Corp., a publishing business housing The Wall Street Journal and HarperCollins, among other units.
Mr. Murdoch isn't the only one who's decided it's time to trim down. Completed and proposed splits among Leading National Advertisers from A to Z:
AbbVie: Created Jan. 1, 2013, as spinoff of Abbott Laboratories' prescription-drug business.
AT&T: Spun off majority stake in shrinking yellow-pages business to Cerberus Capital Management in April 2012.
Kraft Foods Group: Formed Oct. 1, 2012, as spinoff of North American grocery business of Kraft Foods Inc. (now snack seller Mondelez International).
Safeway: Signed deal this month to sell Canadian business to Sobeys, a Canadian food retailer.
Sears Holdings Corp.: Spun off Orchard Supply Hardware, Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores and part of Sears Canada in 2011 and 2012. Orchard last week filed for Chapter 11 and signed a deal to sell majority of its stores to Lowe's.
Sony Corp.: Under pressure from hedge-fund manager Daniel Loeb to stage IPO for film and music operations, separating them from struggling consumer-electronics business.
Time Warner: Plans to spin off magazine unit Time Inc. as separate public company.
Zoetis: Pfizer in February 2013 staged IPO for animal-health business, which took name from "zoetic" ("pertaining to life") with a hint of "zoo."