More cuts at newspapers coming as News Corp earnings fall again

Rupert Murdoch and son Lachlan, co-executive chairmen of 21st Century Fox. Scott Olson/Getty Images

Earnings at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp have fallen again, this time 20% in the second quarter, as advertising revenue continues to shrink in newspapers including The Australian, The Times of London and and the New York Post.

CEO Robert Thomson, the former newspaper editor from Australia, is focused on costs.

“We are particularly focused on cost reductions and sharing services around News Corp to streamline operations at the newspapers in Australia and the UK,” Thomson says.

The US-based News Corp’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) dropped to $US280 million in the three months to December compared to $US352 million for the same period last year.

Revenue fell 4% to $2.16 billion.

News Corp is one of two companies formed from the 2013 split of the media assets of News. The other is 21st Century Fox.

“News Corp is evolving rapidly into a more digital and increasingly global company with a diverse revenue mix that we believe will drive long-term growth in profits and shareholder returns,” Thomson says.

“The company is, by most measures, the world’s largest player in digital real estate, a position certainly enhanced by the rapid growth in the US of realtor.com.”

He says economic conditions in most of the company’s markets have not been auspicious and foreign exchange fluctuations have been volatile.

“But we believe in the enduring value of our prestigious brands and the sound logic of our digital strategy,” he says.

In the news and information services division, where the newspapers sit, revenue for the quarter fell 8% to $US123 million.

Advertising revenues declined 12%, mainly due to weakness in print advertising, negative currency fluctuations and lower revenues at News America Marketing.

Digital revenue at Dow Jones accounted for about one-third of advertising revenue in the quarter.

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