News Corp. Revs Dip On Newspaper Declines

Now entering its third year as an independent company, following its spinoff from Fox in June 2013, News Corporation is still struggling with the same long-term decline in print revenues affecting other newspaper publishers.

However, the company also noted positive trends in its digital real estate and book publishing businesses.

News Corp.’s total revenues fell 2% from $2.19 billion in the second quarter of 2014 to $2.14 billion in the second quarter of 2015 (the fourth quarter of its fiscal year). When the impact of foreign exchange fluctuations is excluded, total revenues were down 1%, due to the continuing drop in newspaper advertising and circulation revenues.

The company’s newspaper publishing revenues fell 10% from $1.56 billion to $1.4 billion over this period, as ad revenues tumbled 13% and circ slipped 5%; when the impact of currency fluctuations are excluded, total revenues were down 2%.

The newspaper slump was partially offset by growth in other areas, with bright spots including digital real estate revenue, which jumped 67% to $190 million, powered by the acquisition of Move. Book publishing revenues were also up 8% to $390 million, due principally to the acquisition of Harlequin.

Move’s traffic in the second quarter increased 42% year-over-year to around 45 million, powered by an 80% increase in mobile users.

As noted, other big newspaper publishers have recently posted similar quarterly results. The New York Times Co. saw total revenues fall 1.55% to $383 million in the second quarter.  Tribune’s total revenues fell 4.7% to $410 million, McClatchy Co.’s fell 8.7% to $262.4 million, and Gannett’s also fell 8.7% to $727.1 million.

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