Earnings: NWS: Preparing For New Media Rev Growth

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New media talk during the News Corp. earnings calls with analysts and press focused on steps being taken now with an eye to establishing leadership positions and building a platform for strong future growth. COO Peter Chernin listed the recent Fox affiliates’ agreement as one example, stressing that Fox chose to partner with affiliates first “rather than taking unilateral action” as have some competitors. (Sound familiar to anyone at Disney?)
Revenue: News Corp. doesn’t break out numbers for new media but has said it expects $350 million in revenue this year. Chernin stood by that, saying, “We remain fighly comfortable with that $350 million figure. We believe we’ll have no problem achieving it.”
MySpace: Chernin: “In terms of branded advertisers, we’re actually very pleased with how we’ve done and how we continue to do.” He added that he thinks it’s accelerating because the new video and comedy sections are proving to be attractive to branded advertisers. Asked later about the effect of safety concerns on advertising, he said, “We have not seen tremendous resistance on the part of blue-chip advertisers. We have a robust list of advertisers.” He said he thought problems had more to do with volume than safety concerns.
Upfront: Chernin said more integrated deals are being made. Fox did a pre-upfront last month called “Generation Fox” aimed at showing advertisers that Fox has “unduplicated ability to reach young people” across its properties from Fox to FIM, Mobizzo, etc.
MLB: Chernin said the company was willing to walk away from baseball if they cannot make money on the contract. “We’re not prepared to sign a deal that loses money.”
Multiplatform: “We continue to participate in the migration of what we think is some of the best content in the world to new media platforms … We see tremendous enthusiasm. We’ll have announcements to make frequently in weeks and months ahead.”
Newspapers: Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch: “The real worry is on newspapers completely dependent on classified advertising for their cash flows.”
MyNetwork TV: Chernin said the new network would have a “highly integrated web presence.” He mentioned seeing plans for the first-generation of the web site today and said there would be digital sales, integrated opportunities with the shows and that some sponsor discussion already have been held.
Fox: Launched expanded web sites for Fox O&Os with rollout taking place now across affiliates.
Related: Earnings: NWS More Than Doubled Profit; Beats Estimates

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