Gemstar-TV Guide Costs News Corp. $4 Bil.

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New York - A $4.2 billion non-cash write-down for its Gemstar-TV Guide International investment resulted in a $4 billion operating loss in the fiscal third quarter at The News Corp.

Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. chairman, said the substantial investment write-down 'does nothing to alter our firm belief in the strategic value of this powerful asset. But Murdock did say he and his management team would keep a close watch on the company's interactive-programming-guide segment in the coming months.

To underline its concern, last month News Corp. assigned its own executive, Jeff Shell, former Fox Cable Networks Group president, as co-president and chief operating officer at Gemstar. News Corp. owns nearly 43 percent of the company.

Despite the write-down, News Corp. said pro forma revenue increased 14 percent during the third quarter, while operating income had climbed 49 percent.

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