News Corp says publishing wing lost money

Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:39am EST
 
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By Sayantani Ghosh and Liana B. Baker

(Reuters) - Rupert Murdoch's News Corp said the publishing arm it plans to spin off from its entertainment assets would have lost $2.08 billion in the last fiscal year if it were a standalone company.

News Corp filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday to separate its publishing and entertainment assets into two publicly traded companies. News Corp first announced the decision in June after shareholders pressed it to get rid of its troubled newspaper business.

"New News Corp," as the company dubs its publishing wing, will include newspapers, information marketing services, digital real estate, book publishing, digital education, and sports programming and pay-TV distribution in Australia, the company said on Friday.

News Corp's film and television businesses currently include the 20th Century Fox film studio, Fox broadcasting network and Fox News channel, which will be part of the renamed parent company that will be called Fox Group.

News Corp's stock fell 1.5 percent to $25.04 in morning trading on Friday.

The loss included an impairment charge of around $2.6 billion, News Corp said in a filing, but it added that revenue fell 5 percent, hit by the 2011 closure of the News of the World paper after the UK phone hacking scandal, and lower revenues at its Australian papers. (r.reuters.com/veb84t)

The $2.08 billion annual loss compares with a profit of $678 million a year earlier.

The unit would have reported a net loss of $92 million in the three months that ended September 30, hurt by lower advertising revenue and higher operating costs, it said.   Continued...

 
A passer-by stands in front of the News Corporation building in New York June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Keith Bedford