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Hillary Clinton, ‘Divergent’ Boost Publishers’ Profits

Hillary Clinton and the post-apocalyptic teen thriller series “Divergent” gave the book divisions of CBS Corp. and News Corp. a boost as their respective broadcast and newspaper units struggled last quarter.

Operating income at Simon & Schuster, the publishing arm of CBS, rose 15 percent to $23 million in the period ended June 30, buoyed by “Hard Choices,” Clinton’s memoir of her time as U.S. Secretary of State. HarperCollins, part of News Corp., posted a 50 percent increase in profit to $33 million, the biggest jump among the company’s five divisions, a gain attributed to the popular book series by Veronica Roth.

Clinton’s memoir sold 191,000 hard copies in its first five weeks, according to Nielsen, and has been on the non-fiction bestseller list. Roth’s “Divergent” series, which was released as a movie by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. in March, sold more than 19 million copies in News Corp.’s last fiscal year.

CBS reported lower second-quarter net income as revenue and operating income declined amid a drop in advertising sales.

News Corp., completing its first full year as a standalone company after splitting from Rupert Murdoch’s entertainment business last year, said sales in its news division, which publishes the Wall Street Journal, fell as advertising revenue weakened.

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