Murdoch Would Like JOA Between His ‘NY Post’ and Tribune’s ‘Newsday’

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By: E&P Staff

Confirming his interest in working with the Chandler family in its bid for Tribune Co., News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said Wednesday he would ultimately like to see a JOA (joint operating agreement) between his New York Post and Tribune’ s Newsday.

“We are interested quite openly,” he said during a conference call. “And frankly, if we could do something, not too expensive, that would lead to a joint operating agreement between the New York Post and Newsday.”

Murdoch made his comments as News Corp. reported its second-quarter profit fell 24% from the same period in 2005 — despite an 18% jump in revenue principally due to the success of the movie “Borat.”

News Corp. said its net income decreased to $822 million, or 26 cents a share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, from $1.08 billion, or 33 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue at News Corp. was led by its film unit, where profit soared 57% to $470 million on two big hits. “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” earned $248 million worldwide, and cost just $18 million to make. “Little Miss Sunshine,” which has been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, also boosted film unit revenue. Fox TV, on the other hand, reported a 39% dive in profit to $112 million.

News Corp.’s newspaper segment reported second quarter operating income of $170 million, an increase of $101 million compared to the 2005 period, “which included a $99 million redundancy provision associated with the development of new printing operations in the U.K.,” the company said.

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