So here's what I think it going on. Murdoch has no intention of shutting down search-engine traffic to his sites, but he's still having lurid fantasies inspired by the momentary insanity that caused Google to pay him for the exclusive right to index MySpace (thus momentarily rendering MySpace a visionary business-move instead of a ten-minutes-behind-the-curve cash-dump).
So what he's hoping is that a second-tier search engine like Bing or Ask (or, better yet, some search tool you've never heard of that just got $50MM in venture capital) will give him half a year's operating budget in exchange for a competitive advantage over Google.
He may, in fact, get a taker. And it will be a disaster. A search engine whose sole competitive advantage is "We have Rupert Murdoch's pages!" will not attract any substantial traffic. The search engine will either go bust or fail to renew the deal.
So, he might have a taker. Bing also partnered with Wolfram Alpha. Microsoft has plenty of money to blow, but I don't foresee them overtaking Google any time soon, considering Bing is starting to serve a different demographic than Google.
The only way Bing could distinguish itself would be through privacy, but that renders any search engine unprofitable and we've got Scroogle for that already.