Leaked News Corp documents show financial state of its Australian newspapers

Source: Crikey

Source: Crikey

Leaked confidential News Corp financial documents have shown the Australian newspaper division dropped $320m in ad revenues and cut one in eight jobs in the 2012-13 financial year.

The documents, obtained by independent news website Crikey (paywall), reveal previously unproven claims about the collapse of News Corp print revenues with the publisher losing $320m in advertising revenue in 2012-13 and shedding more than 1,000 jobs that year. 

Crikey’s publication of the documents has drawn an angry response from News Corp CEO Julian Clarke who said in a statement: “The figures quoted are 14 months out of date, have been illegally circulated and are not from our statutory accounts. They do not reflect the current performance of the business.”

The documents, which are from a confidential weekly operating statement, cast new light on the company’s performance locally between 2011-13 which ultimately saw the departure of CEO Kim Williams in August 2013. 

The confidential operating accounts for News Corp Australia (then still known as News Limited), which are not provided to investors, provide line-by-line, year-on-year comparisons across the business. Crikey reports News Corp’s Australian newspapers fell 14 per cent to $1.9b in 2012-13, with circulation revenue dropping 5 per cent, while operating income fell 67 per cent to $94m.

Advertising revenue fell by 17.4 per cent, or $320m, in the 12-13 financial year to $1.4bn.

Crikey’s report also gives a window into the operating costs and staff numbers of some of big newspapers such as The Australian which has previously stated that it lost $30m last financial year.

The report shows that while total number of staff fell from 8,019 positions in June 2012 to 7,032 a year later. It also shows that The Australian was insulated from many of the cuts implemented by Williams in 2012, with the newspaper shedding only 54 jobs between 2012-13.

Crikey also claims that The Australian has a far higher  average wage than its counterparts with the per employee average salary of $174,000, well above the pay levels of the tabloid newspapers.

News Corp’s CEO Clarke emailed staff this afternoon stating: “They certainly do not reflect the company’s current performance.

“We have continually emphasised our confidence in the future of our print and digital assets, driven by an experience management team which has robust plans for the future.”

Nic Christensen 

Crikey’s extensive reports on the leaked News Corp document can be read at

Clarke’s email to staff can be read below: News Corp email


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