News Corp aims for quality, not 'vacuous, contentious clickbait,' exec says

News Corp. Q1 loss, revenues beat

News Corp Chief Executive Robert Thomson said his company is committed to quality content amid the "mayhem" in advertising.

"There is no doubt that the advertising market is in upheaval and that the renewed advertiser focus on viewability and measurability should naturally benefit trusted brands with accurate metrics. Hype and hip are not alternatives to quality and integrity," Thomson said in a Monday conference call with analysts.

Thomson made his comments amid cost-cutting initiatives at the company, which saw a 3.8 percent year-over-year decline in its key news and information segment.

"We are seeking to attract loyal readers with quality content and not digital drive-bys distracted by vacuous, contentious clickbait," Thomson said while discussing results for British newspaper The Sun.

In October, Dow Jones announced that it would be reviewing its operations and looking to cut costs amid a "significant decline in print advertising." As part of that plan, The Wall Street Journal, a subsidiary of Dow Jones, announced it would be consolidating sections of the newspaper and laying off employees.

Thomson assured analysts that the newspaper's redesign will make it "obvious that print remains a very powerful platform and that the Journal has an audience of unique influence and affluence."

"It's not as though advertisers have abandoned print as a sector, and print is a very powerful platform," the executive said. He said, however, that some advertisers "have their products bobbing around in bilge water" in content that is "less meritorious."

Other publications of record have seen similar challenges. Last week, The New York Times reported that its operating profit declined 59 percent year over year. The Times cited "severance expense associated with workforce reductions as well as lower print advertising revenues and higher advertising and technology costs."