Thomson: 1250 News jobs to go, while Sun shines in US

Feb 10, 2023 at 09:48 am by admin

Chief executive Robert Thomson has confirmed that News Corp will cut five per cent of its workforce – or about 1250 jobs – this year.

In a report on second quarter results for its 2023 financial year, the company says revenues of US$2.52 billion (A$3.63 billion) were down seven per cent “reflecting a US$171 million, or six per cent, negative impact from foreign currency fluctuations”.

Net income in the quarter was $94 million compared to $262 million in the prior year, and total segment EBITDA was $409 million compared to $586 million in the previous year

There was however, good news among the bad: Revenues from Dow Jones’ professional information business grew 45 per cent; higher streaming revenues from Foxtel’s Kayo and Binge “continued to offset broadcast revenue declines”; and revenues at News UK rose as a result of continuing digital advertising revenue growth at The Sun, “highlighting the brand’s successful expansion into the US”.

Thomson said the quarter highlighted progress in some business segments: “Obviously, a surge in interest rates and acute inflation had a tangible impact on all of our businesses, but we believe these challenges are more ephemeral than eternal.

“Just as our company passed the stress-test of the pandemic with record profits, the initiatives now underway, including an expected five per cent headcount reduction, or around 1,250 positions this calendar year, will create a robust platform for future growth.”

Lower revenues in the digital real estate services segment “due to challenging housing market conditions in Australia and the US” were partially offset by higher Dow Jones segment revenues, and higher subscription video services revenues on a constant currency basis.

Foreign currency fluctuations had a $30 million, or five per cent, negative impact, and results were also affected by the $6 million cost of professional fees in evaluating the Murdoch Family Trust’s proposal to merge News and Fox. During a NewsCorp earnings call, Fox Corporation executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch reiterated that he believed a merger made sense.

• A leaked email to Australian staff tells staff of the “difficult choices” they will have to make, flying economy and staying at “preferred” hotels. News Corp Australia chief financial officer Michael Murphy is reported to have told staff that – in response to a “steady increase” in discretionary expenses – phone plans have been capped at A$21.50 per month, and gifts for “big life events” – such as weddings, retirements and deaths– are limited to A$100. Overseas trips will need to be signed off by the chief financial officer.

Sections: Newsmedia industry


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