@ Media Week: UBS Day 1: Chernin On FIM Management Switch, Growth Prospects And More

UBS analyst Aryeh Bourkoff covered a lot of ground in a far-ranging chat with Peter Chernin, president and COO of News Corp. The room was seriously SRO, illustrating strong interest in the many facets of the global media conglomerate. Not surprisingly, a lot of attention is just where it was this time last year when then-FIM president Ross Levinsohn drew a crowd of people trying to get a grip on the company’s bold new digital strategy.
On News Corp.’s “religion”: Chernin: “We are religiously focused on growth.” When five-year plans are being drawn up, specific numbers aren’t all that meaningful; forcing management to think about growth is what matters.
On FIM: “We’re reasonably impatient about expansion ninto digital … We believe we have to keep pushing forward.” He says the division should come close to break even in 2007 and, as he’s noted before, would be profitable without various commitments connected to acquisitions. Six months ago he was being asked if MySpace.com’s growth was sustainable; he doesn’t think that’s an issue anymore but “it’s critical that we continue to innovate.”
On YouTube: “If your stock is at $500 most stuff is pretty cheap; guess we don