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News Corp. Posts Loss Of Over One Billion Dollars

News Corp. Posts Loss Of Over One Billion Dollars

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation has posted a fourth quarter net loss of  $1.6 billion or 64 cents a share, in part because of the weakness of its publishing business which includes the British newspapers The Sun and The Times and, in the US, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post and the Harper Collins publishing house. Profits at these were $597 million, far less from revenues of $864 million a year ago.

Poor performance at News Corp.’s Australian publishing division was said to account “most significantly” for the losses. But the 7 percent dip in revenues — in the same period a year ago, News Corp. posted a profit of $683 million — was also because audiences for its television shows including American Idol are now “sagging.” In addition, films including Prometheus and Ice Age: Continental Drift from the company’s Twentieth Century Fox studios have not done as well at the box office as predicted. The film business’s operating income in this quarter was $120 million, compared with $210 million in the same period last year when Rio was a big hit.

Legal costs related to the phone hacking scandal that has engulfed News Corp.’s British newspapers have risen to $224 million for the 2012 fiscal year.

News Corp. also posted a $2.9 billion pre-tax restructuring charge related to its plan to spin off its publishing division. The company’s shares fell in after-hours trading.

A conference call with analysts seems to have been carefully structured. News Corp. president Chase Carey said that the split of the company into a media division and a publishing one was proceeding well and was “all about bringing focus and alignment to our business.” Murdoch’s younger son James, who stepped down from senior executive positions at BSkyB Media and at News Corps in the UK last year in the wake of the hacking scandal, was present on the call but did not speak.

Rupert Murdoch himself was not on the call, issuing a press release containing a purposefully positive statement: “News Corporation is in a strong operational, strategic and financial position, which should only be enhanced by the proposed separation of the media and entertainment and publishing businesses.”

The plan to split News Corp. into two divisions still requires shareholder approval; it is expected to go through as the Murdoch family holds just under 40 percent of the company’s shares.

Earlier this week, the Church of England sold all of its News Corp. shares (worth £1.9 million or about $2.97  million) due to “fears that the media group has not learnt lessons from the phone-hacking scandal.” The Church acted on the advice of its ethical investment advisory group.

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83 comments

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11:17AM PDT on Oct 17, 2012

I won't be entirely happy until they lose a couple hundred billion.

4:07PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

Their days are numbered.

1:52PM PDT on Aug 14, 2012

jeez.....................

12:08AM PDT on Aug 11, 2012

Good. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is corrupt.

7:46PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

Sooner or later this ruthless,ghastly conglomerate was going to come unstuck!Talk about "karma"to see Murdoch at the end of his life being embroiled in the demise of his life's work!?I can't imagine that there is a great deal of sympathy out there!I don't think that anyone with any intelligence can possibly think that the News Hierarchy did not know about the culture at their newspapers re doing anything to get a story?!I also can't believe that these outrageous activities are just limited to the British branches of the organisation?!When corporations start to behave as a law unto themselves and standing over governments,then we all need to be very concerned indeed.

3:08PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

What many people fail to realize is that TV stations obtain their on-air licensing by making a guarantee to "Serve in the public interest." The MAIN way they "Serve the public interest." is by airing news broadcasting. This means that when a TV station's license comes up for renewal if enough people complain to the F.C.C. that the public interest is not being served the station's license can be refused for renewal. I think if we launched a campaign to shut down errant TV stations individually by protesting license renewal, things would improve rather quickly. We also need to enact legislation requiring that programs on cable television are held to the same standards.

2:08PM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

If you haven't watched Al Jazeera, look for it in your cable lineup or go here:
http://www.aljazeera.com/
They have some excellent documentaries and coverage of stuff we really should know about, instead of the latest celebrity arrest. Don't let the name foo you- this network p.o.s a lot of people in the Middle East, too.

8:14AM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

sigh

7:23AM PDT on Aug 10, 2012

Exactly why I often go to BBC World news America..

11:57PM PDT on Aug 9, 2012

ups n downs r part of life cycle

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