Wednesday, August 8, 2012

News Corp. reports quarterly and year end earnings: publishing becoming a trivial part of Murdoch's empire

News Corp. reported its quarterly and annual earnings today, showing a healthy increase in its annual operating income thanks to its cable holdings which include Fox News, FX and its Regional Sports Networks.

Newspaper watchers will no doubt also see, however, that operating income at News Corp.'s publishing division fell over 30 percent to $597 million, versus $864 last fiscal year.

The company noted that several factors for the decline including ad losses at its Australian and U.K. newspapers, and the the closing of the The News of the World. No mention of the phone hacking scandal and the arrests of its journalists made it into its earnings statement.

(The earnings statement did say that publishing losses were partially offset by gains seen at the Wall Street Journal.)

Revenue was down overall for the quarter, as each industry segment other than cable saw declines. For the year, however, News Corp. recorded a slightly less than one percent increase for the year – again with cable being the healthiest segment, up almsot 14 percent for the year.

News Corp. reported that it took a $2.8 billion charge on the quarter. 'The charge
consisted of a write-down of $1.5 billion of goodwill and a $1.3 billion write-down of the Company’s indefinite-lived intangibles, principally related to the Company’s publishing businesses, most significantly the Australian operations," the earnings statement said, though I must admit I haven't a clue what that is supposed to me. (And apparently the WSJ's Peter Kafka can't decipher it either.)

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