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February 5, 2021updated 07 Nov 2023 5:44am

Murdoch’s New York Post achieves first profit ‘in modern times’

By William Turvill

The New York Post “recorded a significant victory for all media” after Twitter reversed a ban on the newspaper’s account, News Corp’s chief executive said as he revealed the outlet recently made its “first profit in modern times”.

Twitter put a freeze on the Post’s account in October in the aftermath of a controversial report on Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, that was widely shared on the platform in the run-up to the US election.

On 14 October, Twitter said it was limiting the spread of the article, believing it had breached the social media site’s “hacked materials policy”. The Post’s account was unfrozen on 30 October.

Robert Thomson, the CEO of New York Post owner News Corp, described the reversal as “a significant victory for all media, for the freedom of the press”. He praised the Post for “standing resolute and principled against censorship imposed by Twitter”.

In a call with analysts to report on News Corp’s latest results on Thursday, he added: “Ultimately, Twitter realised that it had made an egregious mistake and thankfully reversed its decision.

“Our journalists are not lapdogs with laptops. Our journalists are not stenographers. Our journalists are not stenographers. Our journalists are not woke. Our journalists are awake to their profound responsibilities.”

Thomson also revealed that the Post recently became a profitable part of the News Corp business.

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“History was made when the New York Post reported a profit for the quarter and for the year to date,” he said. “That is the first profit in modern times, at the very least, for what was a chronic, loss-making masthead founded in 1801 by Alexander Hamilton.”

News Corp as a whole reported $2.41bn of revenues in the three months to December 2020, down 3% on the same quarter in 2019. The decline was primarily due to the sale of News America Marketing. It was new News Corp’s most profitable quarter since it was formed in 2013.

The Wall Street Journal, one of News Corp’s largest stand-alone brands, reported a record 3.22m subscriptions at the end of the quarter. Some 2.46m of these were digital-only subscriptions.

Earlier on Thursday, the rival New York Times Company reported that it now has 7.5m subscriptions, 6.7m of which are digital-only.

Photo credit: Reuters/ Jonathan Ernst

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