Add News Corp. to the list of major media companies that say they still aren’t feeling the pinch of a recession. Last fall, Rupert Murdoch scared the bejezus out of some observers but noting that this year could be “rough”. But during his Q2 earnings call today, Rupert said that he had yet to see signs of a slowdown in his business.
Sure, the economy was “ever-challenging”, Rupe acknowledged. But it was also “resilient” — he said this several times – and it had yet to cause an advertiser or consumer pull-back in his businesses. Asked to say when hard times would show up, Rupert’s lieutenant Peter Chernin made the most half-hearted of predictions: “We’ve seen a little bit of exposure in some markets that have been particularly hard hit for sub-prime, but on a national basis we’re not seeing the signs.”
Compare and contrast with the NYT, which just last week declared that the economy was slowing dramatically, and pulling it down at the same time. Gannett, among others, said the same thing. The obvious answer is that both the NYT and Gannett are newspaper companies, and newspapers are getting hammered. But both Gannett and the NYT aren’t completely dependent on ad revenue — both own TV stations, for instance — and in any case, newspapers have been getting hammered for years.
It’s also not a case of Web elevating the rest of News Corp.: MySpace is still a rounding error for Murdoch, and in any case Yahoo and Google are now showing the effect of an economic slowdown, too. Any other suggestions? Love to hear them.
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