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News Corporation announces profit rise

Fiscal quarter results form a defence of Murdoch.

Despite its recent problems, News Corporation has seen its profits jump 47 per cent. This has prompted management to defend their chairman, Rupert Murdoch, saying that he is still the right man for the job.

Shareholders have become increasingly anxious about the potential effect of the Leveson inquiry and associated phone hacking scandal, but this does not seem to have impacted on profits.

The continuing support of the board comes just days after a parliamentary committee in the UK announced that Murdoch was not “a fit person” to run a multi-national company, following a review.

Murdoch commented on the results of the Earnings release, saying

Once again News Corporation showed strong operational momentum in the quarter, driven by significant growth at our Cable Network Programming and Filmed Entertainment segments. With our disciplined approach to monetizing our brands, I believe we are better situated than ever to capitalize on the increasing global demand for our superior content.

The release does show the mounting cost of the Leveson inquiry and related legal representation, releasing a £39.1m figure relating to "ongoing investigations initiated upon the closure of the News of the World".

Despite this vote of confidence, the pressure is still building on Murdoch and his son, James Murdoch. The Guardian reported on Tuesday that major shareholder Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was frustrated by the company wide scandal.

Prince Alwaleed owns 7 per cent of the voting rights at News Corporation, and is the second biggest shareholder.