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Murdoch, Mrs. file petition for divorce

Rupert Murdoch and wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, arrive at the 2013 Oscars Feb. 24 in Los Angeles.
Rupert Murdoch and wife, Wendi Deng Murdoch, arrive at the 2013 Oscars Feb. 24 in Los Angeles.

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has filed for divorce from Wendi Deng Murdoch, his wife since 1999, citing a breakdown in the relationship. The matter doesn’t alter the succession plan for the media company, which the 82-year-old founder controls through a family trust.

The couple are parents to two daughters, Grace and Chloe, ages 11 and 9.

Born in China, Wendi Deng Murdoch is a Yale graduate who went on to work as a junior executive at News Corp.’s subsidiary Star TV in Hong Kong. Deng was introduced to Murdoch at a Hong Kong cocktail party in 1997. She left Star TV before marrying the media mogul in June 1999.

Nelson taking Farm Aid to N.Y.

Singer Willie Nelson is taking his annual Farm Aid benefit concert to upstate New York with an all-day festival of music and locally grown food Sept. 21. The event in Saratoga Springs, 28 miles north of Albany, will feature Nelson and other Farm Aid board members John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews, as well as other artists to be announced soon.

At a stop in Albany on Thursday, Nelson said the Northeast is fertile ground for new farmers and sustainable agriculture. Farm Aid’s mission is to keep family farmers on the land and support the movement toward healthy, locally grown food, he said.

Palin returning to Fox News

Sarah Palin and Roger Ailes have evidently made up. The former Alaska governor will return as an on-air commentator on Ailes’ Fox News Channel next week, the network announced Thursday. She’ll also nab a role on its sister network, Fox Business Network.

The move comes as a surprise after Palin’s abrupt exit from Fox News early this year. The onetime GOP vice presidential pick disappeared from Fox after reports of tension between her and network boss Ailes, who according to a magazine article had privately dismissed her to associates as “stupid.”

The birthday bunch

Actress Marla Gibbs is 82. Actor Jack Bannon is 73. Rock singer Rod Argent (The Zombies; Argent) is 68. Real estate mogul and TV personality Donald Trump is 67. Rock musician Barry Melton is 66. Actor Will Patton is 59. Singer Boy George is 52. Actress Yasmine Bleeth is 45. Screenwriter Diablo Cody is 35.