Rupert Murdoch gives up bonus after News Corp post $1 billion loss

FILE PHOTO: Tennis – US Open – Mens Final – New York, U.S. – September 10, 2017 – Rupert Murdoch, Chairman of Fox News Channel stands before Rafael Nadal of Spain plays against Kevin Anderson of South Africa. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

(Reuters) – News Corp (NWSA.O) Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch is forgoing his cash bonus for the year after the media company posted a $1 billion quarterly loss due to a write-down in the value of its Australian pay TV unit and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its businesses.

The company’s chief executive officer, Robert Thomson, who is giving up three-quarters of his annual cash bonus, said on Thursday News Corp would cut costs in all its units as it tries to limit the hit of the pandemic on its business.

“The collective cuts in bonuses and other cost initiatives will have a positive impact on profitability and our cash position,” Thomson said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal owner said it incurred an impairment charge of $1.1 billion in the third quarter ended March 31, primarily related to a write-down at its struggling Australian pay television unit, Foxtel.

News Corp also reported an 8% drop in revenue to $2.27 billion, hurt by a weaker Australian dollar and lower subscription at Foxtel.

Separately, Australia’s Telstra Corp (TLS.AX) said on Friday that it expected to recognize an impairment charge of about A$300 million ($195.84 million) against its investment in a 35% stake in Foxtel.

Media mogul Murdoch, who is also the chairman of Fox Corp (FOXA.O), gave up his Fox salary last month.

Reporting by Ann Maria Shibu, Subrat Patnaik and Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva

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