News Corp swung to a net loss of $379 million in the most recent quarter after it wrote down the value of its digital-education business. But reduced costs helped bolster its adjusted operating earnings, and the media company said it would start paying a dividend for the first time.
On a conference call Wednesday, Chief Executive Robert Thomson said the company is in advanced negotiations with a potential acquirer for its Amplify digital-education business. News Corp said it would cease marketing Amplify’s Access products to new customers but continue to provide service to existing customers. The impairment charge for the division amounted to $371 million.
News Corp had invested heavily in its Amplify subsidiary, led by former New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. Launched in 2012, Amplify is built around a tablet-based learning platform and digital curriculum. While it reviews options, News Corp said it would cease production of the dedicated tablet product but continue to develop the curriculum software.
“The recent selling season for the new school year for our digital ELA curriculum overall has been disappointing and the marketplace in digital curriculum has been much slower to develop than we initially expected,” News Corp Chief Financial Officer Bedi Singh said on the call with analysts.
FOX is no longer there to hide the bleeding in the newspapers or digital ed business.
Given the poor performance of Klein's digital ed division, I'm not surprised it's for sale.
It had to sink or swim on its own, and with costs already cut, there was nothing for it to do but, uh, swim.
I wonder if the new buyer gets the Amplify tablets that set themselves on fire and/or break if they flip over too?