News Corp suffered from the economic downturn as expected, with revenue dropping to $7.67 billion.
But what really hurt NewsCorp's quarter was $680 million in impairment and operating charges, mostly at MySpace's division, Fox Interactive Media.
These charges resulted in a fiscal fourth quarter net loss of $203 million. The company's operating income fell just short of analyst expectations.
If you exclude some charges, profit came in at 19 cents per share, a penny above analyst estimates. In fiscal 2010, the company says it expects to improve operating income by high single digits, saying that while July was "very good" the company expects a tough few months ahead.
The big news: CEO Rupert Murdoch plans to charge for all the company's news sites. On the earnings call he said "The digital revolution has opened many new models of distribution, but it has not made content free." Murdoch pointed to the Wall Street Journal's subscription service as proof that people will pay for content, saying "Quality journalism is not cheap, and an industry that gives away its content is simply cannibalizing its ability to produce good reporting."
And we're not just talking about newspapers, Murdoch also addressed Time Warner's plan for "TV Everywhere," offering cable content to subscribers online, in order to keep subscribers paying. Though he didn't embrace this specific plan, he did say they're looking for new ways to monetize content online, experimenting with new hardware and software. New President and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey even said that the ad-supported model doesn't work, even on the broadcasting side, raising the idea of demanding that cable distributors pay to carry the Fox network.