News Corp’s cost cutting and job shedding continues, with the US head office planning to put the cleaners through the Star Satellite Pay TV business spanning Asia.

Reports in US trade papers suggest that the changes will be driven by the senior management of Fox, not Star. In effect Star’s operations will be brought under the aegis of Fox International Channels (FIC) boss David Haslingden and News Corp.’s European and Asian boss James Murdoch, who ran Star five years ago. The reports say the dynamic duo plan to eliminate overlap between Star and FIC, which have been competing for viewers, advertising and overhead funds.

Star packages 60 regional and national channels in 13 Asian languages and claims to broadcast to 53 Asian countries. Beyond Hong Kong, it has offices in India, Taiwan, mainland China, Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the U.S. and the UK. For years it was Rupert Murdoch’s chosen route to expand throughout Asia, especially China.

FIC distributes global branded channels including National Geographic and History Channel as well as smaller networks FX, Fox Crime and Fox Life. Now, the reports say the chief operating officer of Star, Laureen Ong, who was appointed two years ago, has been sidelined.

The reports say her job will be axed, along with others throughout the Star empire as Fox executives assert control. In March, News Corp. combined its US film and television production operations into one unit (As NBC has done). “By removing barriers between businesses, this restructuring will enable us to better share ideas and resources,” Rupert Murdoch said at the time.

The reports say the changes could see management of national channels devolved to smaller structures in their various markets, such as India and China being split from Star management and told to focus exclusively on those markets.

“Management of regional English-language channels may be integrated with that of FIC, with oversight of Star Movies and Star World likely to be the thorniest issues. Fox Movies, which FIC handles in some territories, is not distributed in most of Star’s region.”

The changes seem to be driven by reports of a downturn in the finances at Star in the year to June