Discovery Education’s 200 employees Generates $23M operating profit

Source: NYTimes, Aug 2012

Movies, television, newspapers and magazines are in decline or facing headwinds, putting pressure on media companies to find new areas of expansion.

Education is emerging as an answer, largely because executives see a way to capitalize on the changes that technology is bringing to classrooms — turnabout as fair play, given the way that the Web has upended major media’s own business models.

“We think the opportunity continues to be to use digital technologies to be disruptive to an enormous business stuck decades in the past,” Chase Carey, News Corporation’s chief operating officer, told analysts this year.

News Corporation is betting on just that. This month, the company said it would infuse its fledgling education division, Amplify, with $100 million.

Mr. Goodwyn’sMovies, television, newspapers and magazines are in decline or facing headwinds, putting pressure on media companies to find new areas of expansion.

Education is emerging as an answer, largely because executives see a way to capitalize on the changes that technology is bringing to classrooms — turnabout as fair play, given the way that the Web has upended major media’s own business models.

“We think the opportunity continues to be to use digital technologies to be disruptive to an enormous business stuck decades in the past,” Chase Carey, News Corporation’s chief operating officer, told analysts this year.

News Corporation is betting on just that. This month, the company said it would infuse its fledgling education division, Amplify, with $100 million.

Mr. Goodwyn’s 200-employee division introduced the line of digital textbooks last year. Their cloud-based technology works with whatever hardware a district has — iPads, laptops, desktops. Discovery tailors them to the particular curriculum needs of various states (or districts within states).

Discovery knows education will never pay its bills. Last year, the company’s learning products, for instance, generated adjusted operating income of $23 million, a 53 percent increase over a year earlier.

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