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Rupert Murdoch to cut 1250 jobs from newspaper empire

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp did not specify where job cuts might fall - REUTERS/Mike Segar
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp did not specify where job cuts might fall - REUTERS/Mike Segar

Rupert Murdoch is cutting 1,250 jobs from his publishing empire after surging inflation took its toll on profits.

News Corp, which owns The Times and The Sun in the UK, said it will reduce its headcount by around 5pc this year as it grapples with higher interest rates and costs.

The company, which also owns Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones, the New York Post and book giant HarperCollins among others, did not specify where job cuts might fall.

Cuts came as the US-based company reported a 7pc decline in revenues to $2.5bn in the three months to December, driven by a downturn in its book publishing division.

Net profits slumped 64pc from $262m to $94m as higher costs and lower revenues hit its new division.

A housing market slump in both the US and Australia also hurt the business. Profits across News Corp’s portfolio of property websites, which includes in the US and in Australia, slumped by 28pc.

Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, said: “Obviously, a surge in interest rates and acute inflation had a tangible impact on all of our businesses.

“But we believe these challenges are more ephemeral than eternal. Just as our company passed the stress-test of the pandemic with record profits, the initiatives now underway, including an expected 5 percent headcount reduction, or around 1,250 positions this calendar year, will create a robust platform for future growth.”

The figures mark the first set of results since Mr Murdoch abandoned plans to reunite the two strands of his empire through a merger of News Corp and Fox Corporation.

News Corp and Fox were split in 2013, with most of Fox’s entertainment assets being sold to Disney in a blockbuster $71bn deal in 2019.

The media mogul floated the idea of a tie-up last year, but called off the plans in January following a backlash from investors.

The Murdoch family’s attempt to merge the two businesses cost News Corp $6m over the period, reflecting the cost of advisors and convening a special committee to assess the deal.

News Corp joins a growing list of major US businesses that have announced job cuts in recent weeks. Google, Facebook-owner Meta, Amazon and Salesforce have all announced thousands of job cuts as the economic outlook has darkened.