Rupert Murdoch... Australian newspaper businesses struggling.
Rupert Murdoch... Australian newspaper businesses struggling.

Rupert Murdoch's Aussie newspaper revenues slide

RUPERT Murdoch's Australian newspaper revenues have declined by 21% in the third quarter but the company says half of that is related to foreign currency movements.

News Corp as a whole reported a 5% decline in revenue, down to $US2.1 billion.

In a briefing to investors, News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson admitted the Australian business remains under pressure.

"Our Australian newspapers are challenged, having again seen a decline in advertising, but they did pass a landmark of 200,000 digital subscribers in the past week," he said.

"The digital strategy in Australia has been recast in recent months, indeed many of our websites were relaunched last week, but Australia clearly remains a challenge."

The comments come after Fairfax this week announced about 80 job losses at the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and Canberra times, including most of its photographers.

Fairfax reported that News Corp's net profit plunged to $48 million from $323 million in the previous corresponding period.

News publishes most of Australia's metropolitan papers, including The Daily Telegraph in Sydney, the Herald Sun in Melbourne, the Courier-Mail in Brisbane and its national paper The Australian.

It also operates Foxtel,  which posted earnings of $175 million, up by 4 per cent.

Mr Thomson maintained that newspapers remained a very powerful platform, despite declines in circulation around the world.

"I think what will be more clearly understood over time is the relative power of print in a digital world. You literally cannot multi-task if you are reading a newspaper."


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