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Hillary Clinton, ‘Divergent’ Boost Publishers’ Profits

Aug. 7 (Bloomberg) -- 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at cpalmeri1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net Ben Livesey, Rob Golum

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