"No more fat to cut". The ABC has continued its public relations campaign against the Government's cuts in Tuesday's Federal Budget with news director Gaven Morris's address to the Melbourne Press Club yesterday. He reiterated some of the ABC's most "impactful" (his word) journalism and said the latest cuts -- on top of the $254 million in cuts since 2014 -- couldn't been made with "efficiencies": "Make no mistake, there is no more fat to cut in ABC News. From this point on, we're cutting into muscle," he said.
News Corp's radical change. News Corp is about to undergo its most radical change since the great Murdoch empire split of June 2013. Thanks to the just-concluded Foxtel/Fox Sports merger, News expects that from the current fourth quarter (ending June 30), more than half of its revenues and profits will come from its digital real estate services and pay-TV businesses as the company places more focus on recurring subscription-based revenues. The forecast, made to an analysts' briefing, came after the company reported better-than-forecast revenue in its fiscal third quarter thanks to its digital real estate business. But the company’s net loss for the period jumped to US$1.2 billion thanks to the already-announced write-down of the News Corp's investment in Foxtel ahead of its merger with Fox Sports. That write-down was just under US$1 billion, with another $165 million in write-downs at its News America business. Excluding the impairments, operating profit (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) fell 15% to $182 million. The net loss means News will report a loss for the year to June 30. -- Glenn Dyer