Scandal-hit News Corp posts big loss

Rupert Murdoch's embattled media giant News Corp posted a net loss of $1.51 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter Wednesday, as the firm prepared for a major restructuring.

The company's bottom line was hit by a $2.85 billion charge apparently related to a plan to split its entertainment division from its struggling publishing business, hit by tabloid phone hacking scandals in Britain.

News Corp described the charge as "a write-down of $1.5 billion of goodwill and a $1.3 billion write-down of the company's indefinite-lived intangibles, principally related to the company's publishing businesses, most significantly the Australian operations."

News Corp also wrote off $57 million it said it spent during the quarter on an "ongoing investigation" into the British phone hacking scandal, bringing the total cost for the year to approximately $224 million.

On Tuesday, police arrested a journalist from Murdoch's top-selling British tabloid The Sun and a policeman for alleged corruption, Scotland Yard and the journalist's employer said.

The pair were detained under Operation Elveden, one of three investigations sparked by the phone-hacking scandal that closed the News of the World, The Sun's weekly sister paper, last July.

There has been a string of recent arrests of Sun journalists.

Australian-born Murdoch was forced to shut down the 168-year-old News of the World over revelations that its staff had hacked into the voicemail messages of a murdered teenager and dozens of public figures.

Scotland Yard has made a total of 43 arrests under Operation Elveden, which is investigating journalists' alleged bribery of public officials, and 24 under Operation Weeting, its probe into phone hacking.

A further nine people have been arrested as a result of an investigation into alleged computer hacking and privacy breaches by journalists.

Andy Coulson, former media chief to Prime Minister David Cameron, and former top Murdoch aide Rebekah Brooks are among those who have been formally charged with phone hacking.

Brooks previously edited both the News of the World and The Sun while Coulson formerly edited the News of the World.

Murdoch credited the company's cable and film divisions with playing starring roles in financial growth achieved during the fiscal year.

"Our company has continued to innovate, grow, and consistently adapt to the rapidly changing media industry landscape," Murdoch said in a release.

"We find ourselves in the middle of great change, driven by shifts in technology, consumer behavior, advertiser demands and economic uncertainty and change brings about great opportunity."

During the past year, News Corp increased it bet on sports programming by buying Fox Pan American Sports and making plans to purchase remaining stakes in ESPN STAR Sports. News Corp also bought back $4.6 billion in stock.

A plan to split of Murdoch's massive News Corp which was unveiled in June would create separate companies for the huge entertainment division and the struggling publishing business.

The publishing arm has some of the most prestigious names in the industry, including The Wall Street Journal and Times of London, but has been hurt by a move away from print.

Some analysts portray the news operations are an "albatross" dragging down the value of the empire.

Murdoch says he would be chairman of both companies after the split, insisting that the news business would not be an unloved stepchild.

The Australian-born magnate, who built his empire from a single newspaper in Adelaide, said he still believes the news business can be profitable.

"People are buying fewer papers but they are equally getting their news in many other forms," he said when announcing the split.

"People will pay for news, it's the most valuable commodity in the world. People need to know what's going on."

Deputy chairman Chase Carey will be the chief executive of the entertainment arm, led by the 20th Century Fox studios and Fox television properties.

News Corp shares slid 2.55 percent to $23.28 in after-hours trading on the Nasdaq.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Filipino, Vietnamese troops play games on Spratly island

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Filipino and Vietnamese troops played football and tug-of-war Wednesday to foster camaraderie at a Philippine-held island in the South China Sea, where territorial rifts have escalated following China's island-building activities. …

  • Philippine, Vietnamese troops play soccer and sing on disputed island

    By Manuel Mogato MANILA (Reuters) - Vietnamese and Philippine troops played soccer and sang karaoke on a South China Sea island on Wednesday in a sign of the growing security ties between the two Southeast Asian nations most at odds with Beijing over the contested waterway. Cooperation has blossomed between Hanoi and Manila since they shelved decades of enmity over their competing claims in the Spratly archipelago to try to counter China, whose creation of artificial islands in the region …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Fall on renewed U.S. rate hike concerns

    BANGKOK, May 27 (Reuters) - Southeast Asian stock markets tumbled on Wednesday as investors resumed selling on expectations of an interest rate hike in the U.S. sooner rather than later, derailing Philippine ... …

  • Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute
    Phl, US defense chiefs to meet on sea dispute

    As US aircraft carrier USS Ronald Regan began its journey to Asian waters amid China’s power flexing in the region, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin would try to hear directly from his US counterpart how far America is willing to go to aid its long-time ally against China’s threatening moves in disputed waters. Gazmin flew to Hawaii last Monday to attend ceremonies for the turnover of leadership of the United States Pacific Command (USPACOM) from Admiral Samuel Locklear to Admiral Harry …

  • Water in Angat Dam falls below critical level
    Water in Angat Dam falls below critical level

    The water level of Angat Dam in Bulacan yesterday fell below the 180-meter critical level for irrigation, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said. PAGASA said the dam’s water level further dropped to 179.98 meters as of 6 a.m. yesterday from 180.2 meters on Monday. The priority is the domestic consumption in Metro Manila, according to PAGASA. …

  • PCSO gets P3-B fund for medical aid
    PCSO gets P3-B fund for medical aid

    The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) reported yesterday that an estimated P3-billion charity fund has been allocated by Congress to the agency to provide medical assistance to indigent patients and also give funds to other government offices including the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) and the Crop Insurance Program. …

  • Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila
    Image of Asia: Tearing down squatters' homes near Manila

    In this photo by Bullit Marquez, a demolition crew begins to tear down a squatters' community at suburban Caloocan city, north of Manila, Philippines. Population growth and the lack of economic opportunities in rural areas have driven millions of Filipinos into the squatters' colonies that dot the sprawling metropolitan area in and around Manila. Most of the land they occupy is privately owned, and clearing the dwellings often results in violence. The landowner had offered about $1,344 in …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Mostly down; Thai shares near 2-week low

    BANGKOK, May 26 (Reuters) - Most sharemarkets in Southeast Asia fell on Tuesday with the Thai index ending at a near two-week low and the Philippines touching a near four-week low after trade data while ... …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options