Bad news for Murdoch, good news for us: Australian newspaper division revenue plunges $350m in one year


mUmBrella reports Murdoch’s Australian newspaper business is in free fall, dropping $350 million (15%!) in revenue since this time last year:

The extent of News Corp’s financial woes in Australia have been revealed for the first time in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US. The filing reveals that the company saw its Australian newspaper revenues fall by $350m compared to the previous year, a fall of 15 per cent. It also wrote down the value of its Australian newspaper assets by $1.4bn.

It is clear for the first time that the company’s revenues have fallen far harder than rival publisher Fairfax Media, which had been perceived by many in the market as the media company in the worst trouble. In the same period, Fairfax’s metro and regional newspaper revenues went backwards by about $120m, about a third of the fall experienced by News Corp.

News blames competition from the Internet.

Bwah ha ha ha!

Could it be what they are offering the Australian public is not what they desire?

Could it be that climate change denial and wall-to-wall Andrew Bolt doesn’t sell papers?

It’s not the internet gobbling up readers – that is simply a “dog ate my homework” style excuse.

It is more simple than that.

The quality of content News Corp dishes up across all its mast heads is utter shite.

People are voting with their wallets.

The more reality and Murdoch are at odds, the less papers he sells

The two signature issues of the last decade have been the War in Iraq (and the non-existence of WMDs) and climate change.

On both of these issues Murdoch’s papers have been proven badly wrong.

There were no WMDs in Iraq – and thus no justification for war (which all News Corp papers strongly championed).

Oh, and climate change is very real.

Readers are increasingly aware of the disconnect between what Murdoch’s papers report and the actual facts. They no longer trust News Corp as reputable source of news.

As an avid consumer of information I don’t want my intelligence insulted.

But that is exactly how I feel every time I pick up one of Murdoch’s Australian papers. I need to take the intellectual equivalent of a cold shower in order to rid myself of the stench of disinformation. 

I seek out quality journalism elsewhere. I happily subscribe to a variety of online services and journals. I’m willing to pay for quality content.

But News Corp does not offer the quality product I desire.

I’ll read the Australian Financial Review and The Economist – both centre-right leaning publications – because of the quality of reporting. I don’t just want to read material that affirms by world view and prejudices.

I’m very happy for a journalist or article to challenge my assumptions about the world or issues.

The only thing Murdoch’s papers deliver is his own thinly veiled prejudices dressed up as “facts”.

Lying and insulting my well-considered and sincere belief humanity needs to act on climate change?

No thanks Rupert, you can keep that content to yourself.

The real problem: Uncle Murdoch’s blatant use of his papers to push his agenda

The libertarian views of the ageing Murdoch so blatantly pushed across is media empire are turning readers away.  The problem is Murdoch trying to bully us into sharing his world view via is papers.

The blatant partisan nature of reporting of Murdoch’s papers during the last election turned many away. And why wouldn’t they be turned off? Why wouldn’t they stop buying a sub-standard product?

Murdoch is like that cranky uncle that turns up at Christmas blithering on about how NASA faked the moon landing or how climate change is a leftist plot to take over the world.

Family members politely smile and nod for a few minutes, but then tune out. They quickly make excuses to disengage, seeking more pleasant company and decent conversation.

The public is spoiled for content and decent conversation, thus tuning out cranky old Uncle Rupert.

24 thoughts on “Bad news for Murdoch, good news for us: Australian newspaper division revenue plunges $350m in one year

  1. antipodeanspecies1 says:

    Here is a good example:


    • john byatt says:

      Archive for the ‘#Ozfail’ Category
      “We got it wrong”, says Oz, but they’re still wrong
      September 21st, 2013John Quiggin25 comments
      Along with many others, I pointed out the absurdity of Graham Lloyd’s piece in the Oz, headlined “We got it wrong, says IPCC”. The Oz has printed a “correction”


      blaming their absurd error on “the production process”. In the sense that the processes of the Oz, from the hiring of general editor Chris Mitchell and environment “reporter” Graham Lloyd, combined with uncritical reproduction of claims by discredited sources like David Rose “produced” the error. I guess this is true. But, this is part of a consistent pattern. Errors like this have been produced routinely in the past, and will continue to be produced in the future. Regular, but inadequate, retractions are part of this process.

      Categories: #NewsCorpFail, #Ozfail, EnvironmentTags:

      • Nick says:

        Blaming the ‘production process’ is risible, the lamest of arse-covering….The story was just copy and pasted by Lloyd, no interest in checking its quality. They do it all the time. A cut rate provincial rag has no production process, it has a reproduction process. Chris Mitchell should have been let go long ago.

  2. john byatt says:

    Murdoch fails science

  3. Nick says:

    Will News Ltd resist this anti-free market ideology from the COALition? Or will they cheer along?

  4. jasonblog says:

    “The libertarian views of the ageing Murdoch so blatantly pushed across is media empire are turning readers away. The problem is Murdoch trying to bully us into sharing his world view via is papers.” – Agreed. Sort of. The recent results probably show how the Murdoch business has really been for some time. The less profitable Australian print media section was being covered (subsidised?) by the stunningly successful 21 Century Fox entertainment division. Since the separation of the business and the creation of the two distinct corporate identities earlier this year, we are probably seeing a more accurate overall accounting of the Australian operations. (And it doesn’t bode well for them)

    However, I do agree with you that “The blatant partisan nature of reporting of Murdoch’s papers during the last election turned many away.” There has a been a significant backlash to Murdoch’s papers and anything connected to Murdoch. The ‘brand’ and reputation is extremely tarnished. The big loser is The Australian – its reputation is muddied & if one was a shareholder in News Corp you would be asking questions and demanding answers.

    I would suggest while there is AFL in Melbourne then the Herald Sun will survive and Andrew Bolt will continue to have a forum that will parlay into his blog. His voice will become louder and more strident just as the actions of the IPA become more cunning and covert. That is far more worrying than the Twitter ramblings of Rupert.

    Mind you, Murdoch may not mind about how his media is perceived anyway. Fox ‘News’, in the USA, operates openly on its ideology that caters to a ‘niche’ market. It has an audience that happily subscribes to it and there’s nothing to stop Murdoch’s media actively pursuing a similar strategy here (which appears to be what they’re doing). We just sit back and wait for the calls to privatise the ABC to become more fierce and vile. And hope that Fairfax Media is on a stable footing. This may be the beginning of the end for Rupert (if the British law doesn’t get him first) but it may also bring out the fight in him & we could get to see some good ole fashioned Vulture Capitalism at work.

    • Nick says:

      News Corp shareholders are going to have to harden up and remove Murdoch and his under-performing family from the board. Rupert benefits from a ludicrous over-allocation of power to the Murdochs out of proportion to their shareholding. The poor performance of media arms may not be enough, as the reasons for it are seen to affecting other media groups, but the UK propriety debacle should be. And eventually calls to consolidate and cut off non-performers should be irresistable.

  5. john byatt says:

    Mr Flannery and the other commissioners have vowed to continue their role on a voluntary basis, ABC TV reports.

    They will call themselves the Climate Council and continue to release reports and engage in public debate.

    Mr Hunt responded that it was a free country.

    “I wish them good luck,” he told ABC TV.

    “It proves our point that the commission did not have to be a taxpayer funded body.”

    He warned against “clamping down” on freedom of speech on either side of the climate change debate.”

    What is this either side of the debate crap from Hunt,?

    • Nick says:

      Hunt is a great disappointment, having tossed his education into the bonfire of COALition vanity…and how appallingly costly the CC turned out $5.4 million over four years. It’s been such an enormous outlay [sarc]

    • Nick says:

      Hunt warns about clamping down on freedom of speech? While his bandit party and their cronies decides to embargo asylum boats info, refuse to allow NGOs to lobby or link to advocacy groups in exchange for public money, defund climate information, and muzzle those opposing the corporate dictatorship of public policy.

  6. john byatt says:

    forget the climate deniers Abbott and Hunt,

    let’s get this up and running

  7. J Giddeon says:

    Its always fraught to use one number out of context and to start drawing conclusions, no matter how much those conclusions confirm long held prejudices.

    Things like, its the hottest day in Qld since the last time, therefore….blah blah blah

    Just for context, changes in newspaper circulation in the twelve months to June 13:

    The Australian: down 9.8%
    the Tele: down 11.2%
    The Herald Sun: down 10.3%

    Compare to Fairfax:

    SMH :down 17%
    Age :down 16.2%
    AFR: down 6.8%

    If people aren’t buying News Ltd papers because of their opinions how much less are they enamoured of the views of Fairfax where ALP advocacy is counterbalanced by Green advocacy.

    Of course, Fairfax is competing for the same readership with that other highly profitable media group – Your ABC.

  8. john byatt says:

    Climate Council ‏@climatecouncil 2h
    Australians really want reliable info on #climatechange – crowd-funding $800,000 in 3days.
    View photo

  9. BOB says:

    ‘The Australian’ is basically unreadable to anyone under 65 who doesn’t vote LNP every time and anytime. It’s circulation is actually quite small for a national newspaper – a lot are given away at airports (read Sydney & Canberra) for the business class flyers at whom much of it’s opinion is directed and hopeful of influencing.

    It has been this way with little pretence of balance or perspective other than neoliberalist dogma – in my memory since at least late 1990’s.

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