“We don’t have to worry about a Trump bump becoming a Trump slump,” Thomson said during the company’s earnings call when an analyst asked if the change in administrations would be a tailwind or a negative for revenue.
“The key factor for us is the quality of the Wall Street Journal and the quality of the journalism,” Thomson added.
The audiences of several news outlets have declined since Trump left the White House. Ratings dropped for CNN, MSNBC and Fox News as well as for the broadcast networks’ evening news shows, after their numbers surged the previous four years in what became known as the Trump bump. On Wednesday, The New York Times reported it added fewer new subscribers in the first quarter than it did in the same quarter last year.
News Corp said the Wall Street Journal saw year-over-year record increases in subscriptions — both digital and print — in the most recent fiscal quarter.
Total subscriptions rose 21 percent to “a record 3.38 million average subscriptions in the quarter,” the company said. Digital-only subscriptions grew 29 percent to 2.63 million.
Another News Corp publication, The New York Post, also did well, though executives of its parent company offered few specifics beyond saying that rising digital advertising revenue helped offset a 25 percent decline in revenue in the News Media segment of News Corp.
That segment, which includes News Corp. Australia, News UK and other assets, brought in $550 million last quarter, compared to $733 million in the same period last year.
Overall revenue for News Corp grew 3 percent to $2.34 billion last quarter, the company said. Net income was $96 million.
During Thursday’s call, Thomson also discussed the company’s recent financial agreements with Facebook. He touted the deals News Corp reached with the social media giant in Australia, and a similar one in the U.S. two years ago, but pressured Facebook to do the same with News Corp in the UK.
“This [Australian] deal is in addition to the ones with Facebook in the U.S. in 2019 involving Dow Jones and the New York Post,” Thomson said. “We have yet to reach agreement with Facebook and the UK and hope that reason will descend immediately.”
Thomson said he expects the Australian Facebook deal to “have a material and meaningful impact on our business and Australia.”