3 November 2011 - 1:40pm | posted by | 0 comments

Profits slip at News Corp but James Murdoch 'has done a good job'

James MurdochJames Murdoch

News Corp. yesterday reported a dip in profits for the quarter ended Sept. 30. But the company is still standing by Rupert Murdoch's son, James , deputy chief operating officer, "who is increasingly being held to account for his knowledge of the phone hacking scandal," according to the US magazine Adweek.

Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey, in a conference call with journalists and analysts, was asked if management changes were being considered in terms of James's role at the company.

He replied, "We have great confidence in James. James has done a good job, and we are not contemplating any changes."

Asked if the company was planning changes to the board's composition following negative re-election votes by independent shareholders, Carey said, "We take those votes seriously . . . We continue to evolve the board." 

News Corp's net income was $738 million, down from $775 million in the same period last year. The summer's phone hacking scandal had a big impact: there was a fee following News Corp's withdrawal of the BSkyB bid and a $91 million restructuring charge related to its U.K. newspaper business when the News of the World was closed.

But in fact the whole picture emphasises that, like an iceberg, there's a lot more below the surface - and News corp has enormous strength in the US. In terms of total revenue, the figures are up: at $8 billion for the quarter, an increase of $533 million—or 7 percent—year over year, thanks to impressive growth in cable, television and film . 

The New York Times reported, "Buoyed by channels like Fox News and FX and the strong box-office performance of 20th Century Fox’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” News Corporation reported operating income of $1.39 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30, up 21 percent from the same period last year. Cable television provided 56 percent of the company’s total operating income."

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