News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from his wife Wendi, the company has confirmed.

The reasons for the filing were not immediately clear, though a spokesman for Mr Murdoch said the marriage had been irretrievably broken for more than six months.

Mr Murdoch, 82, married the former Wendi Deng, 44, in 1999.

The filing comes just days before the split of News Corp into two companies, one for its entertainment assets and the other for its publishing business.

It was not immediately clear whether the divorce and the company split were connected in any way, though analysts said the end of the Murdochs' marriage was unlikely to have an effect on the corporate separation.

"I doubt it has a substantial impact on the spin," said Gabelli & Co. analyst Brett Harriss. "Given that it's his third wife, I see it unlikely that he didn't plan for this contingency."

News Corp shares were unchanged in midday trading.