OLD Media Moves

Return on Dow Jones purchase will take some time

December 14, 2008

Matthew Flamm of Crain’s New York writes on the one-year anniversary of News Corp.’s acquisition of Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, and how it hasn’t provided a return yet to investors.

Flamm writes, “Ad lineage at the Journal plunged 27% in November versus a year earlier, and the decline for the first week of December was in the high 20% range, according to Wachovia analyst John Janedis.

“News Corp. doesn’t break out results for Dow Jones — noting only that the division brought in almost $500 million in revenues in the first fiscal quarter — but it’s clear that profit growth will be a long-term project.

“In a recent conference call, an analyst asked how Dow Jones could generate $1 billion in operating income within three years—a figure that would justify the purchase. Mr. Murdoch answered that it was ‘going to take time.’

“Some analysts see the acquisition as one more indication that the chairman runs News Corp. like a private company.”

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