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News Corp. news sites to charge fees

Jeremy Hobson Aug 6, 2009
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News Corp. news sites to charge fees

Jeremy Hobson Aug 6, 2009
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TEXT OF STORY

Rupert Murdoch’s probably not waking up too happy this morning. Last night his media company, News Corp., reported a 30 percent slide in profits from a year ago. News Corp. owns Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and MySpace, just to name a few. From New York, here’s Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson.


JEREMY HOBSON: MySpace, facing steep competition from Facebook, was a drag on News Corp’s earnings. But MacQuarie analyst Alex Pollack in Sydney says it’s the advertising slump affecting all media companies that’s hurting most.

ALEX POLLACK: This company’s half advertising, half subscription driven. The subscription part of it, which is cable and network programming and Sky Italia and bSkyb, has done well. The ad market has collapsed over the last nine months.

As a result, Rupert Murdoch says he plans to start charging a subscription fee for all of his news Web sites. Pollack says Murdoch’s decided he can’t cost-cut his way to prosperity.

POLLACK: You have to charge, and people will charge, and people have an appetite to read news and they will pay for news as long as it’s priced, you know like iTunes music at 99 cents a bite, and not like your electricity bill at $2,000 a year.

Murdoch says get ready — the charges should be in place by the middle of next year.

In New York, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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