Rupert Murdoch

News Corp., the newspaper publisher controlled by billionaire Rupert Murdoch, reported quarterly earnings that beat analysts' estimates amid higher book-publishing and digital real-estate sales. Profit, excluding some items, was 26 cents a share in the fiscal second quarter, compared with the 24 cents analysts estimated on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue rose 1.9 percent to $2.28 billion, according to a statement Thursday. Analysts had projected $2.27 billion.

A recent poll conducted by YouGov and theHuffington Post suggests that Americans tend to feel that scientists alter how their findings are reported to suit political or sponsor priorities, yet feel strongly that science in the abstract is a force for good. The public also doubts that science journalists are reporting scientific findings accurately, with the poll suggesting skepticism about the influence of politics and funders here, as well.

Apple and the Department of Justice gave their opening statements in the e-book price-fixing case United States of America v. Apple Inc. The government presented a position based on interpretations of direct quotes from relevant documents where Apple allegedly discussed ways to raise e-book prices not only on its own platform, but across the industry. Apple defended itself by saying that it acted in no one’s business interests but its own … and the government is “trying to reverse engineer a conspiracy from market effect.”

The book industry, rattled by the surge in e-book sales through online retailers, is poised for consolidation, said Brian Napack, a former Macmillan president and senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners.

"We're in a major battle right now for the future of the industry," Napack said Wednesday at BookExpo America, the industry's annual convention held at the Javits Center in New York. "It will be very difficult for the existing major players to stand alone in the face of growing scale because they are competing for the same authors and competing for the same distribution channels. There are only so

News Corp. is planning to split into two companies. One company will operate as a newspaper and book publisher and will retain the name News Corp. The other will be an entertainment company, called 21st Century Fox.

Here's how the split will work:

- Newspapers, book publishing and information services such as Dow Jones Newswires will be part of the publishing company. The 20th Century Fox movie studio, the Fox broadcast TV network and the Fox News Channel will be part of the media and entertainment company.

Books — staid and intellectual cultural artifacts that they so often are — were not all just staid or intellectual this year. Not nearly. There were, in fact, scandals, at least a few of them surrounding books and their authors and publishers, and there were times in which discussions of books and the business grew dramatic and tension-filled. Near-scandals! Other times, these conversations were simply very, very interesting, full of twists and turns, much like a good book.

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