News Corp hit by £2bn loss

In what News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch has described as one of the most difficult years in recent times, the media company has reported a loss of £2bn in the 12 months to end of June.

Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch

He has also reiterated his intention to start charging consumers for accessing content from its websites that would include Times Online and Thesun.co.uk.

The owner of Twentieth Century Fox, The Wall Street Journal and BSkyB in which it has a 39% stake, saw revenues fall 7.8%.

In the final quarter of the year it made a $203m (£119.5m) loss, compared to a $1.1bn (£647.7m) profit in the same period last year.

It has been hit by a $680m (£400m) impairment charge at Fox Interactive Media, which houses MySpace. The social networking site was recently forced to let go of 400 staff.

News Corp’s UK newspapers, The Times, The Sun and The News of the World, saw a 14% drop in ad revenue in the year to the end of June.

Murdoch says that if it is able to successfully charge for its online content, other media companies will follow.

Murdoch says: “The past year has been the most difficult in recent history, and our 2009 financial performance clearly reflects the weak economic environment that we confronted throughout the year.”

He adds however that it is continuing to streamline all its businesses and ” adjusting to the revolutionary changes taking place throughout the media industry”.

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