UK media and telecoms correspondent
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Mar 2, 2015

Rebekah Brooks in talks to return to News Corp: source

LONDON (Reuters) – Rebekah Brooks, the former Rupert Murdoch protegee cleared last year of running an illegal campaign to hack into phones for tabloid scoops, is in talks to return to the media conglomerate, a source said on Monday.

A person familiar with the situation said Brooks, who rose in 14 years from the most junior newsroom position to edit the country’s biggest selling newspaper, was likely to return to a role focusing on new digital and social media avenues.

Mar 2, 2015

Trinity Mirror to resume dividends after slim profit rise

LONDON (Reuters) – British newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror Plc (TNI.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will pay its first dividend since 2008 after tight cost controls and growing digital sales helped it post a slight rise in full-year earnings.

Trinity, which has been battling falling circulation and lower advertising rates at its Daily and Sunday Mirror titles, said on Monday it would pay a final dividend of 3 pence per share and planned to increase that to 5 pence in 2015.

Feb 27, 2015

Pearson says benefits of restructuring coming through

LONDON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – British publisher Pearson
forecast a return to earnings growth after two years of
restructuring, helped by improved fortunes in North America
where falls in college enrolments have started to ease.

Pearson, the world leader in educational publishing, beat
forecasts for several years around the turn of the decade,
before embarking on a restructuring programme to increase its
focus on the faster growth areas of digital services and
emerging markets to complement its core U.S. education division.

Feb 26, 2015

UK lawmakers urge changes to BBC license fee

LONDON (Reuters) – The BBC should reduce its output and the television license fee should eventually be scrapped, a parliamentary committee has said after considering the role of the publicly funded broadcaster in the wake of a string of scandals and industry changes.

The 93-year-old organization has a central presence in British cultural life, with its TV, radio and online content reaching 96 percent of the population on a weekly basis, and millions more abroad.

Feb 25, 2015

Online retailer AO World slumps on cut to earnings outlook

LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) – AO World, the British
online retailer of domestic appliances that soared at its
flotation a year ago, cut its full-year earnings outlook on
Wednesday and saw its shares crash by 46 percent at the open.

AO, which has also moved into Germany as part of a wider
European expansion plan, said some of the revenue growth this
time last year was due to the extra publicity around its
flotation, making it harder to live up to the original outlook.

Feb 23, 2015

Top British lawmakers deny wrongdoing over “cash for access” report

LONDON (Reuters) – Two former British foreign ministers have been filmed offering their services to a fictitious Chinese company in return for thousands of pounds, reigniting a damaging 2010 “cash for access” row just months before an election.

Malcolm Rifkind, a senior member of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives who heads a committee scrutinising security policy, and Jack Straw, Labour’s foreign minister when Britain went to war in Iraq, both denied any wrongdoing.

Feb 20, 2015

“Self-censoring” scandal at newspaper roils UK press landscape

LONDON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – One of Britain’s most storied
newspapers has been accused of self-censoring for commercial
gain, raising awkward questions about a centuries-old press
culture which has prided itself on its no-holds-barred approach
to truth telling.

The 160-year-old Daily Telegraph strongly denied accusations
in a resignation letter by one of its best known writers, who
said the paper had soft-pedalled coverage of a banking scandal
to curry favour with an advertiser.

Feb 19, 2015

British business takes fright at prospect of a Miliband government

LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters) – British opposition leader Ed
Miliband has so alarmed business executives with his talk of
‘asset strippers’ and ‘tax dodgers’ that many want a
Conservative win at the election, even if it carries the risk of
an exit from Europe.

Representatives of some of Britain’s biggest firms accuse
the Labour party leader of demonising big business as a way to
align himself with ordinary voters before the May 7 election.

Feb 18, 2015

UK earnings stretch lead over inflation, jobless rate falls

LONDON (Reuters) – British pay growth outstripped a dwindling inflation rate by the widest margin since before the financial crisis, several measures of earnings showed on Wednesday, giving many households a boost ahead of elections in May.

The Office for National Statistics also said the unemployment rate fell to 5.7 percent, its lowest level in more than six years, as the recovery in the country’s labor market extended its nearly two-year run.

Feb 11, 2015

Sky’s stratospheric soccer bill sends shares falling

LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Shares in Sky fell more than 4 percent on Wednesday after the pay-TV group agreed to pay a record 4.2 billion pounds ($6.4 billion) to retain its dominance of Premier League soccer broadcasting rights in Britain.

Analysts had expected Sky to pay about 40 percent more than the 2.3 billion pounds it shelled out for the current three-year contract. Instead, under pressure from fierce rival BT, Sky offered an 83 percent increase to secure the new contract running from 2016 to 2019.

    • About Kate

      "I am based in London and cover the UK media and telecoms sectors including BSkyB, Vodafone and WPP. I have previously covered UK general news and sports including major events such as the Olympics and football World Cups."
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