And now for something totally unexpected: The New York Post posted a profit for the first time in decades.
The colorful, puny tabloid made money in the last quarter, the parent company News Corp said on Thursday as part of its earnings report.
The Post, which was transformed by Rupert Murdoch into the sensational Fleet Street form he preferred, was known in media circles as a money-losing company. But there was a significant voice in the American media for Mr. Murdoch. The aggressive coverage of bold names and the intense focus on Wall Street made it a must see among the powerful. And his financial losses, which at one point reached more than $ 40 million a year, were considered well worth the cost.
The irony of the Post’s new profit milestone, however, is that at one point the newspaper lost its sensational charm and no longer enjoys its reputation as a strong tabloid teaser.
The losses at Mr Murdoch’s newspapers in Australia and the United Kingdom in recent years have forced News Corp to tighten its belts in every department. Swiss Post has also seen far-reaching cost reductions, laid off more than 20 employees last year and announced a change in management in January. In October, some reporters for the newspaper were outraged when asked to include their names in a dubious report linking Joseph R. Biden Jr. to his son Hunter’s overseas lobbying activities.
News Corp didn’t say exactly how much profit the newspaper had made, but Robert Thomson, the chief executive officer, pointed to the moment and added, “Our job now is to ensure long-term profitability.”
Mr Murdoch’s other US newspaper, the Wall Street Journal, continued to see strong financial results. The broadsheet had 3.22 million print and digital subscribers at the end of December, an increase of 19 percent over the previous year. Of these, around 2.46 million were purely digital customers. This corresponds to an increase of 28 percent compared to the previous year, which corresponds to an increase of around 106,000 new digital customers in the reporting period.
Dow Jones, which owns The Journal, sister publication Barron’s, and Risk and Compliance, an expensive subscription product primarily intended for banks and other large corporations, saw sales grow 4 percent to $ 446 million. Pre-tax income rose 43 percent to $ 109 million, part of which was due to risk and compliance.
As with other newspapers, Dow Jones’ ad revenue, which includes The Journal, continued to decline, with print ads falling 29 percent, but digital advertising rebounded, increasing 29 percent year over year. The company announced that advertising fell by 4 percent.
News Corp posted total revenue for the three months ended December, the company’s second fiscal quarter, 3 percent decline to $ 2.41 billion and pre-tax income of $ 497 million.
The company’s biggest bright spot, however, was book publisher HarperCollins, which saw sales jump 23 percent to $ 544 million as the division achieved higher sales in every book category. News Corp recently lost its offer to Penguin Random House to buy competing publisher Simon & Schuster.