04:02 PM May 08, 2009

BILLIONAIRE media mogul Rupert Murdoch expects to start charging for access to News Corp’s newspaper websites within a year, as he strives to fix a “malfunctioning” business model.

Encouraged by booming online subscription revenues at the Wall Street Journal, he said last night that papers were going through an “epochal” debate over whether to charge. “That it is possible to charge for content on the Web is obvious from the Wall Street Journal’s experience,” he said.

Asked whether he envisaged fees at his British papers such as the Times, the Sunday Times, The Sun and the News of the World, Mr Murdoch replied: “We’re absolutely looking at that.”

Moves could begin “within the next 12 months”, he said. “The current days of the Internet will soon be over.”

News Corp’s quarterly operating profits slumped by 47 per cent to US$755 million ($1.1 billion), although exceptional gains on sale of assets boosted bottom-line pretax profits to US$1.7 billion, in line with last year’s figure.

News Corp’s newspaper division barely broke even, with quarterly profits collapsing from US$216 million to US$7 million year-on-year. Dwindling advertising revenue across print and television divisions depressed News Corp’s results, despite box office receipts from Twentieth Century Fox movies such as Slumdog Millionaire.

But Mr Murdoch said he believed signs of hope were appearing. “There are encouraging signs in some of our businesses that the days of precipitous declines are done, and things are beginning to look healthier.” THE GUARDIAN

From TODAY, Business – Friday, 08-May-2009

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


Post a Comment