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On Eve of Split, News Corp. Announces Major Write-Down of Publishing Unit

The News Corp. building in New York
The News Corp. building in New YorkPhotograph by Timothy A. Clary/AFP via Getty Images

Rupert Murdoch may have escaped the worst of the phone-hacking scandal at News Corp.’s newspapers in London. But he can’t dodge something more mundane—the sinking value of newspapers in general, even ones not breaking the law.

To wit: On the eve of the Memorial Day weekend, News Corp. announced it will be writing down the value of its publishing business by $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion this quarter. Atrophying cash flow from its U.S. and Australian newspapers are to blame, the company said.