Rupert Murdoch built up his news empire and then gave bits of it to his children to run.
And son James has run himself into trouble.
The phone-hacking scandal at the dear departed News of the World created a firestorm that threatens to burn through Mr. Murdoch's entire conglomerate. Things got so bad that James had to step down from his senior post and disappear into the shadows.
Murdoch's News Corp started as a little newspaper but it has grown. At present, newspapers make up a smallish percentage of the overall profits, while cable television, including Fox News, is where the money comes from.
Rumour has it that the Murdochs may divide the company, although splitting off entertainment from publishing may not be enough to salvage Mr. Murdoch's attempts to gain control of British cable provider BSkyB.
A savvy businessman, Mr. Rupert Murdoch is well aware of which side his bread is buttered. He let the scandal-plagued newspaper die, but he very much wants the entertainment venue for its profit-making potential.
Why is he splitting his company now, to separate publishing and television?
He has to put Jimmy somewhere, doesn't he? What safer place for a tainted executive than at the head of something harmless like HarperCollins?
The publishing house doesn't generate enormous profits. Indeed, the bits of News Corp that would be lumped together with the publisher make up a small part of the corporation's overall income.
It would be a good place to hide the prodigal son who wandered off the reservation and became a focal point for Parliament's ire. It would confine son James and his errors in a neat package that will be the publishing arm of NewsCorp, all the newspapers and books held at a distance from the entertainment arm.
That way, BSkyB could be shown to be well outside of James Murdoch's influence, to make the regulators happy and allow the stock purchase to go forward.
And the employees of HarperCollins could answer to a chastened Murdoch, who will no doubt be focused on increasing profits and making his daddy proud.
Just imagine the future at HarperCollins, turned into the print version of Fox News and the New York Post.....more E.L. James and less Anthony Bourdain (who's with FoxNews rival CNN)?