News Corp. Lowers 2002 Outlook After Attacks

News Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin Tuesday said the global media powerhouse's financial outlook was hurt by lower advertising revenues following the Sept. 11 attacks.

"We have lost many tens of millions in ad revenues in the weeks immediately following the attacks," Chernin said at a Goldman Sachs conference in New York.

News Corp., one of the last media companies to say its results would be hurt by the ad downturn, which was exacerbated by the attacks, said it now sees 2002 earnings growing in the high-single to low-double digits.

The company had earlier expected earnings growth of between 20 percent and 26 percent.

Growth of cash flow, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, for its Fox Entertainment Group Inc. network will be in the low- to mid-teens in 2002, he added.

Fox's EBITDA was previously forecast to be up 31 percent to 37 percent, to between $1.48 billion and $1.55 billion.

Chernin said the revisions were almost entirely attributable to lower advertising.

"Almost all of it was advertising related," he said, adding that he expects increased cancellations from advertisers.

"We had anticipated some firming up of the ad business in the fourth quarter and the first and second quarters (of 2002), but we just don't see that now," he said. 

News Corp. is the parent company of the Fox News Channel, which operates