News Corp posts quarterly loss as print ad sales fall

Mon Nov 7, 2016 6:21pm EST
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(Reuters) - News Corp (NWSA.O: Quote), the owner of the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and book publisher HarperCollins, reported a quarterly loss as it struggles to cope with a decline in newspaper advertising sales.

The company, controlled by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has been reducing staff and implementing other cost-cutting measures in its Dow Jones division, which includes the Journal, while building up its digital real estate business.

Revenue in the company's news and information division, which accounts for about two-thirds of total revenue, fell 5.3 percent to $1.22 billion in its first fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30. Advertising revenue fell 11 percent.

News Corp is not alone in its struggle to arrest a decline in print advertising.

New York Times Co (NYT.N: Quote) reported a nearly 20 percent drop in print ad revenue in the latest quarter, while USA Today publisher Gannett Co Inc (GCI.N: Quote) reported a decline of about 15 percent.

Spending on newspaper advertising in the United States is expected to fall 11 percent this year to about $12 billion, according to media research firm Magna Intelligence.

However, News Corp said revenue in its rapidly growing digital real-estate unit jumped 18.3 percent to $226 million.

Momentum in the business is expected to accelerate this year, Chief Executive Robert Thomson said in a statement.

The business includes REA Group Ltd (REA.AX: Quote), a leading real estate advertising company in Australia, and Move Inc, which operates in the United States and other countries.   Continued...

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch leaves his home in London, Britain March 4, 2016.  REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth