* Publishing wing would have reported 2012 loss of $2.08 bln
* Newspapers, sports programs to be under publishing wing
* Closing News of The World, Australian paper woes part of
* Publishing wing's Q3 loss would have been $92 mln
* Stock down 1.5 pct
By Sayantani Ghosh and Liana B. Baker
Dec 21 Rupert Murdoch's News Corp said
the publishing arm it plans to spin off from its entertainment
assets would have lost $2.08 billion in the last fiscal year if
it were a standalone company.
News Corp filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on Friday to separate its publishing and
entertainment assets into two publicly traded companies. News
Corp first announced the decision in June after shareholders
pressed it to get rid of its troubled newspaper business.
"New News Corp," as the company dubs its publishing wing,
will include newspapers, information marketing services, digital
real estate, book publishing, digital education, and sports
programming and pay-TV distribution in Australia, the company
said on Friday.
News Corp's film and television businesses currently include
the 20th Century Fox film studio, Fox broadcasting network and
Fox News channel, which will be part of the renamed parent
company that will be called Fox Group.
News Corp's stock fell 1.5 percent to $25.04 in morning
trading on Friday.
The loss included an impairment charge of around $2.6
billion, News Corp said in a filing, but it added that revenue
fell 5 percent, hit by the 2011 closure of the News of the World
paper after the UK phone hacking scandal, and lower revenues at
its Australian papers. ()
The $2.08 billion annual loss compares with a profit of $678
million a year earlier.
The unit would have reported a net loss of $92 million in
the three months that ended Sept. 30, hurt by lower advertising
revenue and higher operating costs, it said.
NO DETAILS YET ON DEBT AND CASH
The filing shows the publishing unit's earnings before
interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization or EBITDA, a
figure used by Wall Street to reflect the company's operating
performance, slipped to $782 million in 2012 from $1.21 billion
BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield called the new financial
details unsurprising and said that the key information for
investors - the two companies' plans for debt and cash - were
absent from the filing.
"The amount of debt and cash to be assigned to each company
is not finished yet, and that's what investors are focused on,"
He expects that information to be revealed in the first
quarter, and said he hopes that "as little cash as possible is
infused into the publishing" wing.
The publishing division now includes the HarperCollins book
publisher, its education arm headed by former New York schools
Chancellor Joel Klein, and newspapers, including The Wall Street
Journal, The Times of London, The Sun, The New York Post and The
Robert Thomson, a close confidant of Murdoch and currently
managing editor of The Wall Street Journal and editor-in-chief
of its publisher, Dow Jones & Co, will lead the new publishing
Thomson will receive a base salary of $2 million annually
and a performance-based annual bonus with a target of $2
million. After three years, he will receive annual grants of a
performance-based long-term incentive award.
Murdoch will retain his role as Chairman and CEO of the
parent and his compensation for the roles is expected to
increase modestly. He received a base salary of $8.1 million and
a bonus of $10.4 million, apart from stock awards and other
compensation, which put his total compensation at about $30
million for fiscal 2012.
The phone hacking scandal erupted at the News Of The World
last year, forcing the company to close the paper in July and
drop its proposed purchase of the rest of BSkyB, its British