Rupert Murdoch's News Corp posts second loss in a row amid print advertising headwinds

Rebecca Smith
Rupert Murdoch's media firm said print ad sales were proving difficult
Rupert Murdoch's media firm said print ad sales were proving difficult (Source: Getty)

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, the owner of Dow Jones Newswires, The Wall Street Journal and The Times, has posted its second quarterly loss in a row.

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The figures

The company has had difficulty offsetting the decline in advertising income in its newspaper business. News Corp advertising revenue fell 8.3 per cent to $748m (£598m).

The firm posted second-quarter earnings of 19 cents per share on $2.12bn in revenue – compared to $2.16bn in the prior year. Analysts had expected the global media giant to report earnings of 18 cents per share on $2.12bn in revenue, according to Thomson Reuters consensus estimates.

It posted a loss from continuing operations of $219m for the period, compared to a $106m profit for the year before.

Why it's interesting

News Corp has been part of a sector-wide struggle to offset declines in print advertising revenue. For the latest quarter, the company said its news and information services segment recorded an advertising revenue decline of nine per cent, year over year, because of the “weakness in the print advertising market”. Revenue in the business fell nearly seven per cent to $1.3bn.

Its results were also buffeted by the write-own of $310m predominantly due to the fall in value of the firm’s Australian papers.

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What the company said

Chief executive Robert Thomson noted "continued headwinds" in print advertising, but said the company is “especially confident” in its news brands, saying the Wall Street Journal now has more than 2.1m paid subscribers and, for the first time, half of them are digital.

He said:

Audiences are craving integrity, which is why so many of our mastheads have reported strong growth in readers and subscribers this quarter. And advertisers need a trusted canvas and real results, not the muddled, muddied metrics of many digital platforms.

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