(Adds Dow Jones cost cuts, byline)
By Robert MacMillan
NEW YORK Feb 6 Rupert Murdoch's News Corp
(NWSA.O) wrote down half the value of Wall Street Journal
parent Dow Jones & Co, which it bought for $5.6 billion in
2007, according to a U.S. regulatory filing on Friday.
The company said in a separate statement that it plans to
save an additional $40 million at Dow Jones in the fiscal year
ending in June 2010. That would be on top of $100 million in
costs savings implemented since buying Dow Jones in 2007, News
A spokesman declined to reveal the total number of staff
cuts News Corp plans for Dow Jones or how many jobs it has
A memo was sent to Dow Jones employees on Thursday that
said The Journal had cut 25 jobs but that there would not be
layoffs at Dow Jones Newswires.
Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate said cost-savings
measures that Dow Jones has made include outsourcing some jobs,
consolidating office space and integrating Dow Jones' corporate
functions with those of News Corp.
Dow Jones said it would freeze employee salaries, which
Reuters previously reported based on a memo that it obtained.
News Corp's quarterly results on Thursday include an $8.4
billion writedown for its broadcast and newspaper properties,
pushing the company into a net loss for the quarter. Of that,
$2.8 billion was for Dow Jones, News Corp said in a filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday.
The international media conglomerate paid $60 per share for
Dow Jones, 65 percent higher than its market value at the time.
Besides the Journal, Dow Jones also owns the weekly Barron's,
the Factiva online news archive, and the business news website
Some analysts and media watchers have criticized the
breathtaking premium, saying that had Murdoch waited longer for
financial markets to deteriorate and advertising revenue to
weaken, he could have had Dow Jones for less money.
A further $185 million included in the writedown was for
the New York Post, said a source familiar with the matter but
not authorized to talk about the filing. Murdoch has long
maintained the racy and popular tabloid despite its history of
Dow Jones' statement on Friday said it has closed three of
its 17 Wall Street Journal production facilities, and is
discussing partnerships with other companies for printing and
delivering the Journal and Barron's.
News Corp shares rose 7 cents, or 1 percent, to $7.01 on
Nasdaq late Friday afternoon.
(Reporting by Robert MacMillan; editing by John Wallace,