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News Corp. Singles out Fox News Channel In Earnings Release

Hours after their big January ratings were released, Fox News Channel was cited in News Corp.’s earnings release. News Corp. posted fourth quarter earnings of $0.25, on revenues of $8.7 billion. That beat Wall Street estimates of earnings of $0.20 on revenues of $8.23 billion.

From the release:

FNC achieved its highest ever quarterly profit and increased its operating income 51% versus the second quarter a year ago primarily from affiliate revenue rate increases.

During the quarter, viewership at FNC was 197% greater than its nearest competitor in primetime and 136% higher on a 24-hour basis, reflecting FNC.s broadcasting the top thirteen shows in cable news.

In a note to News Corp. employees worldwide today, chairman & CEO Rupert Murdoch writes, “The FOX News Channel is far and away the leading news channel in the U.S. and is only continuing to grow its audience.”

The full memo, after the jump…

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Dear Colleagues:

This afternoon, News Corporation released earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2010 that far outpaced those of the same quarter last year. I wanted to share with you some of the reasons behind this performance and why we think it will continue into coming quarters. Across the globe, our businesses are all growing, and we are entering calendar 2010 with new vigor and strength. You have done an extraordinary job. Thank you.

In the midst of the most challenging economic conditions I’ve witnessed, you buckled down and brought dedication and imagination to your work. Of course, we’re also benefiting from macroeconomic forces such as the improving ad market, as well as the steps we took over past quarters to make our operations more efficient. Thanks to these factors and your unrelenting focus, News Corporation has returned to organic revenue growth that will benefit us, and our stockholders, for years to come.

We are becoming the world’s leading content company:

&bull We have the leading international film studio with the new number one film in history: Avatar, which, just this morning, received nine Academy Award nominations including Best Picture

&bull We have the number one broadcast network in the U.S. in FOX

&bull We have the number one newspaper in the United States in The Wall Street Journal and the number one newspaper in the UK in The Sun. In Australia we have the largest selling daily paper — The Herald Sun — which grew circulation while The Australian, our national daily, achieved strong advertising market share growth. At the same time, it furthered its position as the country’s outstanding quality paper

&bull The FOX News Channel is far and away the leading news channel in the U.S. and is only continuing to grow its audience

&bull Through our Fox International Channels, we have launched more cable channels around the globe than any other company

&bull HarperCollins enjoyed remarkable profits, while at the same time adapting to the needs of the new distribution technologies

&bull STAR India is again number one in network share in the world’s largest democracy

&bull Around the globe, News Corp. remains the world’s leading sports broadcaster

I’m immensely proud of these accomplishments. Of course, we never shrink from new challenges. So News Corporation is also taking important leadership positions in developing new business and creative models, from breathing new life into broadcast television in the U.S. and instituting fair pricing for digital journalism to pushing the boundaries of film and television with new 3D technologies.

We are a creative company, which means we thrive on the talent of our people. That’s another way of saying that we would not be where we are today without your hard work and commitment. Together we will continue to defy conventional wisdom and set the standard for our industry.

Sincerely,
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Rupert Murdoch

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