Murdoch vows to charge for all online content


By Kenneth Li and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, Financial Times

Rupert Murdoch has vowed to charge for all the online content his newspapers and television news channels, going well beyond his prediction in May that the company would test pay models on one of its stronger papers within the year.

The comments by News Corp’s chairman came as he predicted a “high single digit” rebound in the group’s operating profits next year. The worst of the media sector slump might be behind the company, he said, as he reported “some good signs of life” in advertising.

Newspaper and television revenues would be down “very low double digits” next year, but growth in cable properties such as Fox News would leave advertising revenues flat and total revenue up 4 per cent.
News Corp put the seal on a brutal fiscal year with a fourth- quarter net loss of $203m (£119m), dragged down by $680m in impairment and restructuring charges at Fox Interactive Media, whose MySpace social networking site cut more than 700 jobs in the period.

The latest write down to boom-era acquisitions masked a 30 per cent fall in quarterly adjusted operating profit to $948m, in line with lowered projections, and adjusted earnings of 19 cents per share, narrowly ahead of Wall Street forecasts of 18 cents.

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