News Corporation's less-than-stellar fourth quarter makes clear the company's reason for wanting to split its print and broadcast operations, as its publishing unit hemorrhaged money thanks in part to last year's News of the World phone-hacking scandal. The company reported a net loss of $1.6 billion for the quarter, its earnings report said, including a $57 million charge for the phone-hacking investigation. News Corp's publishing wing, which includes its newspapers and Harper Collins publishing house, took a massive loss for the quarter, posting a $2.9 billion pre-tax impairment and restructuring charge, which offset profits it made in other parts of its business. At the end of July, the tablet newspaper The Daily announced it was cutting staff as part of News Corp's trimming of its print properties, and while the news came as a surprise, the quarterly earnings report suggests there was good reason for it. News Corp president Chase Carey told analysts on Wednesday that the company plans to complete its split within a year, and predicts a flat outlook for 2013 while the publishing arm cut costs, largely in Australia.
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