Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue


Is News Corp. Really Throwing its Publishing Ops Under the Bus ?

Throwing Print Publishing Under The Bus ?

Ole Rupert is actually being forced by financial forces to break off News Corp.’s print publishing arm from the rest of his media empire — But, could this bring about an unintended method to their madness at the end of the day (also forced) ?

The decreasing financial numbers being earned by News Corp.’s publishing arm all point to the eventual failure of this entity if left to operate on its own without any type of other financial shoring up as was provided by News Corp.’s other digital and entertainment arms. 
This forced separation, however, could just be the igniter of the needed ingenuity that could revive print just out of the adrenalin of survival.
Lets get inside some numbers and forecasts provided by Diane Mermigas in the Business Insider:

Splitting News Corp. Means Shoring up – or Shipping Out – Print Ops

News Corp.’s decision to throw its publishing operations under the bus in a division of assets is a shortsighted effort to pacify shareholders disgruntled with a year-long phone-hacking scandal in Britain and declining stock price that could blunt the newspapers’ digital survival.

Is it realistic to expect a pure-play publishing company to do more experimenting with digital business models than it does now? News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch promises the standalone entity will have “a robust net cash position” for potential acquisitions. But where will the investment funds come from? 

News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, who has been loath to spin-off his beloved newspaper operations, says the stand-alone entity will have “a robust net cash position” for potential acquisitions. 

Nomura Securities analyst Michael Nathanson estimates the publishing business will have $362 million in profit in fiscal 2012 and a value of about $2.6 billion, or 7% of News Corp.’s current market cap. By comparison, News Corporation’s entertainment business will earn $3.1 billion in fiscal 2012 and could be the highest-growth portfolio in media, valued at about $52.5 billion–nearly the same as the existing company. 

Barclay’s Anthony DeClemente expects as much as $2 billion of News Corp.’s estimated $11 billion in cash will go with publishing to mitigate $1.5 billion in debt and an estimated $330 million in phone hacking-related legal expenses. Even with double-digit declines in ebitda, BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield expects publishing free cash flow to remain positive in fiscal 2015. 

Still, those numbers speak more to getting by than getting on. 

The publishing company will not likely seek another $5 billion deal like its purchase of  Dow Jones in 2007, which was heavily written down and whose estimated value has deteriorated. But it will need to continuously invest in innovative digital applications and business models to better monetize its unique data and information. 

The WSJ, as it is expected to be rebranded, is aggressively making variations of its content available to users through their device of choice to avoid the huge reader exodus spurred by The Times of London‘s hard pay wall tactics. 

Wall Street Journal readers can “subscribe” for a few dollars a month to specific news channels through premium sources, such as Water Cooler, the Political Report and the Technology Digest in a unique revenue-sharing arrangement between Dow Jones, aggregator Pulse and Apple, which demands about one-third of money generated from apps on its devices.

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News Corporation Generates How Much Revenue ?

More Publishing Intrigue: News Corp. To Split Publishing Arm — This was my post yesterday on The Writers Welcome Blog — Read it for significant insight into Rupert Murdoch’s media empire and the driving forces pushing the splitting off of  their publishing component.

In the above post, however, I did not share just how much revenue is generated by each of News Corp.’s business components; or define, for that matter, what the components consist of .

Here is a table graphic from The New York Times that portrays that data:

Good money, huh ?

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Murdoch’s "Digital Newsstand" is Belly-Up

Due to his wanting to control all the subscribers’ list data demographics, and not even sharing this info with those newspaper publishers participating in his digital newsstand, he has not been able to generate any interest from other publishers in joining his online newsstand! Duh, I wonder why?

David Zax , of, reports more intriguing details:

Project Alesia, one year and $30 million in the making, would have bundled online subscriptions to magazines and newspapers, but publishers weren’t interested.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is ditching an idea one year and $31.5 million in the making: an online newsstand that would have bundled online subscriptions to newspapers and magazine. “Project Alesia,” as it was called, is being abandoned for lack of interest among the publishers News Corp. had pitched.

Reuters’ source says that Alesia is just on hold, but MediaWeek claims the decision is absolute: “an entire, dedicated News Corp U.K. operation being dismantled just days before a product was due to go on market.” Over a hundred people were working on the project; most have been reassigned elsewhere.

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Everything Just Can’t be Free Forever!

Filed under: monetizing online newspapers,paywalls,Rupert Murdoch — gator1965 @ 5:07 pm

Giant newspaper publisher Rupert Murdoch has been trying to figure out how to charge for online news for some time…He already has some success with The Wall Street Journal, but, this is a paper geared toward business people who expect to pay for so-called propriety news…He is trying to monetize other online consumer news to save the newspaper industry (really his own hide)…Seems advertizing income and subscriptions are way down!

Some simple questions by this outsider simpleton:

1- If your online product represents the gold standard in your niche, why should online advertising go down? If you can implement the attitude that you only accept ads from the top and true businesses and they have been suitably vetted, I would think advertisers would be knocking your door down to get to you (and into this sppecial ad category) with money in hand!

2- Why not get a letter of agreement between all major newspaper publishers to give say 40% of online news free with some payment for remaining news…or something similar? I think this is where old Rupert is falling short…You know, getting the old consortium.

Truthfully, I feel that the conglomerate that Murdoch has built up in the newspaper business is bad for this country, by any standard, and should definitely be broken up. Especially since he and his papers represent a drastically one-sided (and therefore short-sided) point of view that favors Wall Street (big business…often greedy & crooked) over Main Street (the majority of the country and the main purpose for it’s existence…of, by and for the people; and all that stuff.

Rupert, old chap, you can’t take it with you when you die…You’re going out the same way you came in…naked and poor.

Frank Reed of Marketing Pilgrim reports this:

Earlier this month I explored the idea that Rupert Murdoch’s impending paywall announcement was just that; impending. In a News Corp earnings call he said that the publishing giant would have something to announce in 3-4 weeks regarding a group of publishers that would be banding together to take specialized content and put it in an area that would require a subscription for access. The conventional wisdom, even for someone as adamant about the need to paywalls now, is that there needs to be a consortium of sorts to make this a reality.

Well, we are just about at the 3-week point of this self-imposed time line and there are some doubts as to just how real this whole deal is. Peter Kafka of All Things Digital reported earlier this week.

Within the next two weeks or so, we’re supposed to hear about Rupert Murdoch’s digital news subscription service–the one he has been trying to put together for many months.

One problem: That service is supposed to feature content from publications other than those owned by Murdoch. And sources familiar with News Corp.’s plans tell me Murdoch has yet to sign partners on to the venture.

Read more at Marketing Pilgrim:


Rupert Murdoch, Paywalls and Why It’s Hard to Charge for Quality Bagels

Filed under: charging for online content,Malcolm Coles,paywalls,Rupert Murdoch — gator1965 @ 10:14 am

“Rupert Murdoch, Paywalls and Why It’s Hard to Charge for Quality Bagels” Writers Thought for The Day on John R. Austin-Writer Get this inside analysis @

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