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  • Wed, Mar. 23, 8:10 PM
    • News Group Newspapers -- publisher of tabloid The Sun and part of News UK (NWS -1.4%, NWSA -0.8%) -- posted a £250M-plus loss today as a result of writedowns and continuing costs tied to a phone-hacking scandal.
    • The unit took £277M in one-time charges for the year, a heavy £204M of which are tied to a writedown of the paper's publishing rights (lower value of the masthead).
    • Another £50M goes to continuing legal fees tied to the company's phone-hacking scandal -- that following £500M in existing spending tied to the controversy.
    • Excluding the charges, underlying profits were £31.3M, down 12.1% Y/Y, on revenues that fell 6% to £459.1M as print circulation dipped.
    | Wed, Mar. 23, 8:10 PM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Feb. 29, 7:42 PM
    • News Corp. (NWS -1.5%, NWSA -0.9%) is set to quickly settle a class-action case over in-store promotions with a payment of $244M, according to a lawyer for the plaintiffs.
    • Both classes of shares were flat in after-hours trading.
    • Consumer goods companies including Dial, Kraft Heinz and Smithfield Foods gathered into a class action to charge News Corp. with monopolistic practices around its dominance of the market for in-store promotions at retailers: coupon dispensers, endcap displays, cart ads and other displays.
    • The trial had just begun earlier today in what was disclosed to be a $2B lawsuit (Plaintiffs sought $674.6M, which could be trebled under antitrust law).
    • News Corp. has reportedly come to a five-year settlement where aside from the $244M payment, it agrees not to enter exclusive deals with retailers lasting longer than 2.5 years unless retailers first ask for the contracts in writing.
    • Updated 7:44 p.m.: The company just confirmed that it's paying about $250M, along with $30M to resolve related claims. It's still denying any wrongdoing.
    • Previously: Trial begins over News Corp. dominance of in-store promotions (Feb. 29 2016)
    | Mon, Feb. 29, 7:42 PM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Feb. 29, 11:17 AM
    • News Corp. (NWS -0.1%, NWSA +0.4%) is in court in Manhattan today as a trial gets under way to consider whether the company is monopolizing the market for in-store retail promotions at more than 50,000 locations.
    • Consumer good companies including Dial, Kraft Heinz and Smithfield Foods are united in a class action accusing News Corp. of monopolistic behavior in using long-term retailer contracts to dominate coupon dispensers, end-of-aisle displays, cart ads and more.
    • Plaintiffs say by 2009, News Corp. had 90.5% of the market, pushing its sole remaining competitor, Valassis Communications, out of the business by 2014. They originally sought damages that could hit $2.5B if trebled under antitrust law, but pretrial rulings recently have put some limits on liability.
    | Mon, Feb. 29, 11:17 AM
  • Tue, Feb. 16, 5:49 PM
    • News Corp. (NWS +2.4%, NWSA +1.8%) is staying in the fray when it comes to conservative digital media. The media giant plans to launch Heat Street, a site catering to center-right and conservative audiences.
    • Former UK Conservative Party MP Louise Mensch will lead the effort, with the help of former TV producer Noah Kotch. It's coming out under the company's reorganized Dow Jones Media Group.
    • "Disagreement will be encouraged," Mensch tweeted about the stance of the site, which she also described with the word "libertarian."
    • The field is crowded. Verizon and Hearst have been talking about a digital media brand that a source described as "Vice for the red states"; meanwhile, the Fox News website claims 54.7M monthly visitors, and sites like the Independent Journal Review (19.7M), Glenn Beck's The Blaze (14.3M), and Daily Caller (6.5M) also draw sizable monthly audiences among conservatives.
    • Previously: Verizon, Hearst in talks to team up for mobile video channels (Jan. 22 2016)
    | Tue, Feb. 16, 5:49 PM
  • Fri, Feb. 12, 6:40 PM
    • Move Inc. (NWS +3.5%, NWSA +3.4%), owner of Realtor.com, fired back at Zillow and its chief Spencer Rascoff, who said on CBNC today that Move owner News Corp. and Rupert Murdoch were acting "out of desperation" in litigation between the companies.
    • Zillow's net GAAP loss of $25.7M was affected by $8.1M in costs over litigation with News Corp. In the conversation, which covered key earnings highlights, Rascoff was asked: When will the legal overhang stop?
    • "You'd have to ask Rupert Murdoch that question," Rascoff said. "We're focused on innovating; News Corp. is focused on litigating. Unfortunately you see this all too often in business, where companies that lose on the business battlefield resort to the courtroom out of desperation ... It's vindictive, it's baseless."
    • The litigation was filed by Move before News Corp. and Murdoch bought in, Move says, and notes that Zillow acknowledges a "reasonable possibility" it will lose the suit.
    • "It's understandable why Mr. Rascoff said today of the litigation, he's 'tried to put it out of my mind,' " Move's statement reads. "Just last week, the judge ordered defendants to appear for a two-day evidentiary hearing on April 13 and 14 into Move's claims that important evidence has been destroyed by some or all of the defendants in this case."
    • Digital real estate has become a business of key focus for News Corp. as it grows faster than legacy businesses.
    • Previously: Realtor.com reports record growth year (Feb. 05 2016)
    • Previously: News Corp. reports fourth straight quarter of revenue decline (Feb. 04 2016)
    | Fri, Feb. 12, 6:40 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Feb. 10, 4:41 PM
    • News (NASDAQ:NWS) declares $0.10/share semi-annual dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 1.8%
    • Payable April 13; for shareholders of record March 9; ex-div March 7.
    | Wed, Feb. 10, 4:41 PM
  • Fri, Feb. 5, 8:03 PM
    • Realtor.com -- part of Move Inc. (NWS -6.7%, NWSA -9.1%) -- said after a record year of growth that its site drew 50M unique users in January.
    • Unique visitors via desktop and mobile grew more than 40% Y/Y in 2015, the year in which News Corp. made investments in rapid expansion of the real-estate service. It had previously peaked at 48M uniques in July.
    • The January total was also 34% bigger than the company's previous biggest January: 37M uniques a year ago.
    • Digital real estate services was the only revenue gainer among segments in News Corp.'s earnings report yesterday, growing 35% to bring $208M in sales (by comparison, Cable Network Programming drew just $106M in revenue). CEO Robert Thomson calls News Corp. the world's largest player in digital real estate.
    • News Corp. shares tumbled today after its results showed overall revenue dropping for the fourth quarter in a row, amid continuing declines in core advertising.
    • Previously: News Corp. reports fourth straight quarter of revenue decline (Feb. 04 2016)
    | Fri, Feb. 5, 8:03 PM | 1 Comment
  • Thu, Feb. 4, 8:12 PM
    • Shares of News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) have had no movement in after-hours trading following an earnings report where revenue slipped for the fourth quarter in a row.
    • Advertising continued its decline in core news services. Revenue overall beat slightly but fell 4.4% Y/Y; EPS of $0.20 missed by $0.01, but fell by a third from the prior year (and by more in continuing operations). Real estate services (paced by Realtor.com) provided the bright spot.
    • "Macro-economic conditions in most of our markets have not been auspicious, and foreign exchange fluctuations have been particularly volatile," said CEO Robert Thomson, "but we believe in the enduring value of our prestigious brands and the sound logic of our digital strategy.”
    • Revenue by segment: News and Information Services, $1.4B (down 8%); Book Publishing, $446M (down 5%); Digital Real Estate Services, $208M (up 35%); Cable Network Programming, $106M (down 5%).
    • EBITDA by segment: News and Information Services, $158M (down 27%); Book Publishing, $57M (down 26%); Digital Real Estate Services, $73M (up 28%); Cable Network Programming, $39M (down 28%).
    | Thu, Feb. 4, 8:12 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jan. 27, 3:23 PM
    • News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) Chairman Rupert Murdoch has gone on the attack over a UK tax deal by Google parent Alphabet, joining opposition politicians in the critique while Prime Minister David Cameron defended the deal.
    • "Google et al broke no tax laws," active tweeter Murdoch tweeted. "Now paying token amounts for p r purposes. Won't work. Need strong new laws to pay like the rest of us."
    • Alphabet agreed to pay £130M in a settlement after a panel found that it paid just $16M in corporate tax to the UK on $18B of revenue over five years.
    • Murdoch's been the subject of the same criticism -- an Economist report in 1999 found News Corp. had paid about 6% over the previous four years, and no net tax in the UK at all on £1.4B in profits made since 1987 -- and Cameron has been criticized for a close relationship with Murdoch.
    • "Tech tax breaks facilitated by politicians easily awed by Valley ambassadors like Google chairman Schmidt eg, posh boys in Downing St.," Murdoch added.
    | Wed, Jan. 27, 3:23 PM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Jan. 20, 2:23 PM
    • Down double-digits not long ago, Twitter (TWTR +4.2%) has moved well into the green on rumors News Corp. (NWSA -2.8%) is interested in a purchase.
    • News Corp. has denied the rumors.
    | Wed, Jan. 20, 2:23 PM | 61 Comments
  • Fri, Jan. 15, 5:08 PM
    • News Corp. (NWS -2.1%, NWSA -1.6%) and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX -2.3%, FOXA -1.7%) are reversing course on a plan to become the anchor tenants at 2 World Trade Center, a new 99-story building, and will be staying at their midtown manhattan home.
    • That's from a memo sent by James and Lachlan Murdoch sent to company employees: “We have concluded that a relocation project of this scope could be distracting in the near-term and, given the scale of investment in a relocation of this size, that our resources would be better directed elsewhere."
    • “Make no mistake: it won’t be long before we find a great company to anchor 2 World Trade Center,” said developer Larry Silverstein. “Downtown’s momentum is palpable and unstoppable.”
    • The two companies had signed a non-binding letter of intent to lease 1.3M square feet at the new building, including a ground-level studio space. But real estate brokers told The New York Post that the companies got a "compelling" offer to stay put.
    • Fox and News Corp. have leases at their Sixth Avenue home that run through 2020, with "extension options that could continue our occupancy on Sixth Avenue through 2025."
    • Previously: News Corp., Fox up for millions in incentives for WTC 2 move-in (Dec. 08 2015)
    • Previously: Fox, News Corp. to build joint HQ in World Trade Center tower (Jun. 02 2015)
    • Previously: News Corp., Fox in talks to move HQ to World Trade Center (Apr. 10 2015)
    | Fri, Jan. 15, 5:08 PM | 4 Comments
  • Wed, Jan. 6, 5:33 PM
    • Dow Jones (NWS +0.9%, NWSA -0.5%) is creating a new publishing unit to roll up and organize its brands and explore some new products.
    • Notably, The Wall Street Journal will be separate from the new Dow Jones Media Group, which will include brands like Barron's, MarketWatch and Mansion Global.
    • The new group will be free to pursue more video projects and collaborations with News Corp. while the WSJ's separation will provide some "autonomy" for other pubs, says Dow Jones chief Will Lewis.
    • WSJ Executive Editor Almar Latour will leave that post to become publisher of the new group.
    | Wed, Jan. 6, 5:33 PM
  • Dec. 8, 2015, 4:00 PM
    • The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is weighing millions of dollars in incentives for News Corp. (NWS -2.7%, NWSA -2.6%) and Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX -1.7%, FOXA -2%) -- key anchor tenants in the planned World Trade Center 2 building.
    • That would mark a reversal from a stance that there wouldn't be public sector support for the building. The agency has the incentives on its Thursday agenda.
    • The companies could receive a reduction in rent amounting to $43M, some of which would eventually be repaid after move-in. That would be offset by $15M from New York state and a tax credit valued at $10M.
    • The Port Authority wants to get construction started on World Trade Center 2, which it believes could generate $500M for future transportation.
    • Previously: Fox, News Corp. to build joint HQ in World Trade Center tower (Jun. 02 2015)
    • Previously: News Corp., Fox in talks to move HQ to World Trade Center (Apr. 10 2015)
    | Dec. 8, 2015, 4:00 PM
  • Dec. 2, 2015, 9:42 PM
    • While speculation about buyers for Yahoo's (NASDAQ:YHOO) core Internet business is focused on private equity, Yahoo's evolution as a media company means a number of media/telecom firms are in play for all or part of the business.
    • A sale of the core business might not happen -- it's not the main purpose of Yahoo's meeting -- but on the other hand, a transaction would certainly value it at more than where it is locked up in Yahoo, which may be less than zero because of the investments in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan.
    • Estimates vary widely on the Internet business' value, from just under $2B to as much as near $4B. Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) could have room for that after it failed to acquire Time Warner Cable; it's been spreading out investments in a number of media and Internet companies this year, and it could lump in Yahoo's properties with its own Xfinity online video.
    • Like Verizon (NYSE:VZ), another potential Yahoo Internet suitor, Comcast has also been shoring up its ad-tech bona fides with some 2015 acquisitions. Verizon could use Yahoo's data to present a better competitive face to Google and Facebook, though it would have redundancies to deal with.
    • Other companies like News Corp. (NWS, NWSA) or Time Inc. (NYSE:TIME) may be more interested in some pieces of Yahoo's business rather than the whole. SunTrust analyst Robert Peck even considers AT&T (NYSE:T) and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) prospective buyers; Disney for tapping the data to market theme parts and movies, and AT&T trying to match up better against the Verizon/AOL combo.
    • Previously: FT: P-E firms show interest in Yahoo's core business (updated) (Dec. 02 2015)
    | Dec. 2, 2015, 9:42 PM | 15 Comments
  • Nov. 27, 2015, 7:19 PM
    • The media M&A world is full of hot rumors, but it's a little notable that Rupert Murdoch decided today to get into the gossip game (or at least the trolling game).
    • The mogul tweeted today about "strong word" that Tribune Publishing (TPUB -1.6%) was going to be bought by a "big Wall Street firm," and that the Los Angeles Times would be bought by Eli Broad and a local group.
    • As Jason Abbruzzese points out, Murdoch could just have sour grapes, as News Corp. (NWS -1.6%, NWSA -1.3%) was rumored to be preparing a bid for the company last year before Murdoch said ownership laws "from another age" prevented that.
    • “I am not sure this amounts to ‘case closed,' ” Poynter’s Rick Edmonds said at that time. “My read is that Mr. Murdoch still wants the L.A. Times, still opposes the cross-ownership ban and might seek an exception or repeal.”
    • News Corp. A shares moved up 1.1% in postmarket trading after the abbreviated session.
    | Nov. 27, 2015, 7:19 PM
  • Nov. 27, 2015, 11:22 AM
    • News Corp. (NWS -1.6%, NWSA -1.3%) says its Australian unit has secured five-year rights to the National Rugby League in an $1.8B deal.
    • In conjunction with Nine Entertainment and Telstra (TLSYY +0.4%), Fox Sports secured the rights to show all games ad-free in 2016, and in 2017 will launch a dedicated NRL channel.
    • Fox Sports package subscribers will also have access to the games and related coverage on tablets and smartphones.
    | Nov. 27, 2015, 11:22 AM