Fox News Wins Ratings Vote
It may have been a more strident voice in opposition to Barack Obama during the 2012 election campaign than Mitt Romney's, but unlike Romney, Fox News turned out to be a big winner at the end of the day. In its quarterly report, released on Wednesday, News Corp reported that its cable unit, of which Fox News is the predominant component, saw revenue increase a whopping 18 percent over the comparable quarter a year ago. Moreover, its television division -- Fox Broadcasting -- benefited from the gush of political advertising and saw a 19-percent rise, despite significantly lower ratings for the network than a year earlier. In a conference call, News Corp COO Chase Carey said it could have been better if American Idol had performed more strongly. The downturn in the show's ratings, he said, was one reason why we didn't have a great fall. Clearly that was disappointing for us. Another disappointment: a four-game World Series versus a seven-game Series in 2011. News Corp's film division -- principally the 20th Century Fox studio -- saw a 2.5 percent downturn compared with last year, while its publishing unit rose 7.3 percent largely the result of revenue from a Sunday edition of the London Sun. Offsetting that increase, however, was the continued expense of settling claims related to the hacking scandal involving the Sun and the now-defunct News of the World. News Corp wrote off $56 million in legal costs related to the scandal, down from $87 in the year-ago quarter.