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AT LAST, THE INTERNET’S TO BLAME: News Corp. posted a loss of $203 million for the fourth quarter of 2009 compared with a profit of $1.1 billion the prior year, and revenues fell 10 percent to $7.6 billion. Hefty impairment charges from Fox Interactive Media — home to struggling social media site MySpace — were largely to blame for the drop in earnings, along with lower ad revenue.
In the company’s newspapers and information segment, which includes The New York Post and Dow Jones & Co., operating income dropped $167 million to $96 million in the fourth quarter. At Dow Jones, fourth-quarter operating income declined from lower ad revenue at The Wall Street Journal and lower information services revenue, although News Corp. did not break out details. In the magazines and inserts division, operating income rose $7 million to $102 million, thanks to higher revenue from freestanding inserts and custom insert publishing.
For the full year, News Corp. reported a net loss of $3.4 billion compared with net income of $5.4 billion due to lower operating results and an $8.9 billion impairment charge. Revenues were $30.4 billion for 2009 versus $32.9 billion. For the newspaper segment, adjusted operating income fell $320 million to $466 million, from lower ad revenues and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar against the Australian dollar.
— Amy Wicks