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News Corp slips into the red after $1.6bn fourth-quarter loss

By Hamish Mackay |

August 9, 2012 | 3 min read

The giant News Corp media conglomerate has edged into the red - partly due to the weakness of its publishing business, which includes UK newspapers The Times and The Sun.

BBC News reports today that he fourth quarter net loss of the company led by Rupert Murdoch was $1.6bn (£1bn) compared with a net income of $683m in the same period the previous year. The loss included a $2.9bn pre-tax restructuring charge.

News Corp has already announced plans to split into two- separating its profitable film and TV business from its UK newspapers - caught up in the News International phone-hacking scandal.

The BBC quotes Murdoch as saying: “"News Corporation is in a strong operational, strategic and financial position, which should only be enhanced by the proposed separation of the media and entertainment and publishing businesses.”

The company's publishing division reported quarterly operating income of $139m, falling from $270m during the same period last year, a result of falling advertising revenues and the closure of the News of the World, while the BBC has also highlighted a charge of $2.9bn for 'impairment and restructuring' as being for the impending corporate split of the film and TV businesses and its new assets.

Also highlighted was the legal bill of $224m for the phone-hacking scandal.

This week, the Church of England sold its shares in News Corp on fears that the media group has not learnt lessons from the phone-hacking scandal.

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