Rupert Murdoch’s embattled media giant News Corp posted a net loss of USD 1.51 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter,as the firm prepared for a major restructuring.
The company’s bottom line was hit by a USD 2.85 billion charge apparently related to a plan to split its entertainment division from its struggling publishing business,hit by tabloid phone hacking scandals in Britain.
News Corp described the charge as “a write-down of USD 1.5 billion of goodwill and a USD 1.3 billion write-down of the company’s indefinite-lived intangibles,principally related to the company’s publishing businesses,most significantly the Australian operations.”
News Corp also wrote off USD 57 million it said it spent during the quarter on an “ongoing investigation” into the British phone hacking scandal,bringing the total cost for the year to approximately USD 224 million.
On Tuesday,police arrested a journalist from Murdoch’s top-selling British tabloid The Sun and a policeman for alleged corruption,Scotland Yard and the journalist’s employer said.
The pair were detained under Operation Elveden,one of three investigations sparked by the phone-hacking scandal that closed the News of the World,The Sun’s weekly sister paper,last July.
There has been a string of recent arrests of Sun journalists.
Australian-born Murdoch was forced to shut down the 168-year-old News of the World over revelations that its staff had hacked into the voicemail messages of a murdered teenager and dozens of public figures.
Scotland Yard has made a total of 43 arrests under Operation Elveden,which is investigating journalists’ alleged bribery of public officials,and 24 under Operation Weeting,its probe into phone hacking.
A further nine people have been arrested as a result of an investigation into alleged computer hacking and privacy breaches by journalists.
Andy Coulson,former media chief to Prime Minister David Cameron,and former top Murdoch aide Rebekah Brooks are among those who have been formally charged with phone hacking.
Brooks previously edited both the News of the World and The Sun while Coulson formerly edited the News of the World.