This is a rush transcript from "Your World With Neil Cavuto," May 4, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
NEIL CAVUTO, ANCHOR: In the meantime, everyone’s concerned about whether the economy is firing on all cylinders or not. Well, media stocks and media companies, more to the point, are said to be good indicators of the economy, maybe precursors to what’s happening.
And, if that is true, count yourself maybe a News Corp booster, as the parent company of this fine network and 20th Century Fox, and HarperCollins, and on and on reporting much, much, much better-than-expected earnings in the latest period that dwarfed well past some of the estimates in there, a 67 percent increase over last year, but, across the board, in almost all key businesses, which would seem to indicate, as we get into the details with my boss, that maybe the consumer is back and the economy, too.
Rupert Murdoch, good to have you.
RUPERT MURDOCH, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, NEWS CORP: Good evening.
CAVUTO: Wow. I was looking through this, and pretty nice. What’s happening?
MURDOCH: I wish they were always like that.
CAVUTO: Yes, right, right.
CAVUTO: This is your strongest quarterly performance ever, right?
MURDOCH: Yes, but, you know, we’re comparing with a pretty bad year.
CAVUTO: Absolutely. But — but, as far as media companies, it stands out.
MURDOCH: Yes, absolutely. And we had a few exceptional events.
For instance, The Wall Street Journal was up 25 percent in advertising for the quarter, the only big newspaper in the country that was up at all for the quarter. So, we’re very pleased with that.
CAVUTO: Is that the result of just higher ad revenue or more subscribers? Both?
MURDOCH: Just ad revenue. I’m only talking about ad revenue.
CAVUTO: OK. Got you.
MURDOCH: Yes. Subscribers are up half-a-percent or something.
CAVUTO: Well, that alone is an anomaly.
MURDOCH: Again, yes.
MURDOCH: So, we’re very happy with The Journal.
CAVUTO: And then that big blue guy from "Avatar" helps, right?
MURDOCH: That helped a lot.
MURDOCH: It was — yes, that contributed probably something a bit more than $200 million to this quarter...
CAVUTO: All right. And...
MURDOCH: ...and will produce, you know, more in the next quarter, not as much, and then more next year. It will slowly run down.
CAVUTO: Yes, because that one goes into DVD, of course, as it is.
MURDOCH: DVD has sold 10 million DVDs in 10 days, the highest ever, 40 percent of it in Blu-ray at $24, which is, again, an all-time record.
CAVUTO: All right. Cable looking strong, Fox News, this — this place, looking really strong, best quarter ever, right?
MURDOCH: Looking great. Oh, yes, absolutely.
CAVUTO: What do you think is driving all of this?
MURDOCH: Well, I think as far as Fox News goes, it’s very simple. It’s very powerful, it’s very good, and it’s very balanced.
And, you know, everybody else, every newspaper other than ours, and every — this may be an overgeneralization, but for the most part newspapers, and certainly the other television networks sort of are all on one side, and sort of the liberal side of things, and where I think the population of this country is pretty worried about its direction, and they turn to Fox News.
CAVUTO: So, when you see the criticism in the media, criticism of you personally or Fox News, or Fox anything, period, do you just look at numbers like this and say, bring it on, bring it on?
MURDOCH: It’s good for ratings. Yes, absolutely.
CAVUTO: But, you know, do you buy the argument, Rupert, that as media companies go — let’s say your own leading that pack — it’s a good precursor, a good barometer for the economy, that — that it’s a sign that the appetite for spending is up, the appetite for advertising is up, the economy could be coming back?