CEO Rupert Murdoch did not make his usual comments at the top of the earnings call — instead News Corp Deputy Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer took the helm, outlining the various divisions' strength. Carey said he's confident about the strength of broadcast and ad revenue.
Is this a sign that Murdoch is shifting of power to his deputy?
Murdoch did take some questions about the state of the economy, saying he's "very, very confident" about the next six months, though there's sufficient fragility he's not overly confident about the long-term or medium.
Sounds like cautious optimism.
Advertising's rebound is the story driving News Corp — along with the other media giants this quarter. Local TV station ad revenues grew 29 percent in the quarter, driving Fox TV stations operating income 15% higher to $220 million. Ad revenue at News Corp's domestic cable channels grew 11 percent in the fourth quarter, while international cable channels' advertising revenue grew 35 percent over the prior year.
Cable network programming continues to be News Corp's most profitable division, in keeping with the trends we've seen across the media giants. Cable network operating income for the quarter was $563 million, up from $429 million in the year-ago quarter.