News Corp. ( NWS) and Vivendi Universal ( V) reported diverging results Wednesday, as the overseas media conglomerates took steps to shake off the yoke of poorly performing investments. As part of a debt-cutting plan to sell 10 billion euros' worth of assets within two years, Vivendi Universal said it was planning to put Houghton Mifflin on the block. The move comes barely a year after Vivendi Universal acquired the educational publishing company for $1.7 billion. Moody's reacted by once more slashing the company's long-term debt ratings. Meanwhile, News Corp., stung by the dwindling value of its investment in interactive TV technology corporation Gemstar-TV Guide International ( GMST), said a writedown of $1.9 billion for the quarter ended June 30 stemmed primarily from a writedown of its Gemstar holdings to market value at quarter-end. Shares in Vivendi plummeted 23.1% Wednesday morning to trade at $11.79, a 52-week low for the Paris-based titan headed, until recently, by French Americanophile Jean-Marie Messier. News Corp.'s shares rose 1.7% to trade at $21.11.