News Corp's news and information services division saw total revenues drop 9% from $1.77 billion to $1.61 billion. This decrease was slightly offset by gains in cable network programming revenue, which more than doubled from $53 million to $110 million; book publishing, which rose from $377 million to $391 million; and News Corp's new digital real estate division, REA, which rose from $87 million to $103 million.
Within the news division, circulation and subscription revenues declined 7%, while advertising revenues fell 10%. The drop in circulation and subscription revenues was attributed mostly to the decline in institutional business at Dow Jones. Total revenues from the company's Australian newspapers revenues declined 17%, with 10% of this drop due to foreign currency fluctuations. Excluding divestitures and currency fluctuations, the news and information services division's revenues only declined 4%.
The news of weakness in Dow Jones’ institutional business comes close on the heels of a big executive shake-up at the business information publisher.
In January, Lex Fenwick stepped down as CEO of Dow Jones amid a general rethinking of the business model behind the company's business newswires product, DJX, which was positioned as an alternative to Bloomberg's widely used subscription-based financial information service. It appears some financial-sector clients balked at paying more for information they were not necessarily going to use, demanding more flexible “a la carte” access and pricing structures for the service.