Newspaper companies post major losses; Warner posts profit

The Wall Street Journal reports that News Corp. posted a $6.4 Billion loss after the quarter. Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp. (which owns the Wall Street Journal), says he thinks that advertising sales will bounce back with the economy.

“I recognize that we may never return to record levels, but we think we can recapture a large percentage of the advertising that does return,” Mr. Murdoch said Thursday on a conference call.

Mr. Murdoch said the company was working to pare jobs and control costs to withstand the tough climate. As part of that effort, The Wall Street Journal said Thursday it cut 25 newsroom jobs through layoffs, buyouts and elimination of open positions. In addition, the film-and-TV division has cut $400 million in expenses, in part by shedding 800 positions.

At the same time, WSJ reported that McClatchy Co. also posted large losses from the quarter.

However, good news on the media front came from Warner Music, which posted a profit this quarter.

Overall U.S. music sales fell for the seventh time in eight years in 2008 as increases in digitally downloaded albums and songs weren’t enough to offset a nearly 20% plunge in compact-disc sales. But SoundScan reported Warner gained more than one percentage point in market share to reach 21.4%.

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