News Corp has posted a £4.4bn loss for the three months to 31 December 2008 (compared with a profit of $832m a year earlier). Overall revenues, across BSkyB, 20th Century Fox, the New York Post and Sun newspapers, HarperCollins and MySpace were down 8.4%.
Owner Rupert Murdoch said the economic downturn was "more severe" than first thought, and warned of likely job cuts. "We are implementing rigorous cost-cutting across all operations and reducing head count where appropriate," said Mr Murdoch.
The quarterly loss was New Corp's first in more than three years, and it now predicts a 30% fall in operating profits for its fiscal year to the end of June.
"Our results for the quarter are a direct reflection of the grim economic climate," added Mr Murdoch.
Whatever your feelings for the legendary KRM, his nose for business has kept NewsCorp at the top of its game (barring some scary moments in the last recession) for 40 years. If NewsCorp is being hit this badly, despite a broader media portfolio than its competitors, then there must be some very stressed senior media executives out there right now in smaller and less diverse media businesses.
Now's the time to bunker down and focus on retaining your loyal and most valuable customers - "recognise and reward" is the new mantra for business in 2009