April 1, 2009

News Corp. Names Former AOL Chief To Head Digital Media Group

News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch announced on Wednesday that former AOL chief Jonathan Miller will be chairman and chief executive of the company's newly created Digital Media Group.

Miller, 52, will oversee MySpace and other digital businesses at News Corp., and will serve as the company's Chief Digital Officer, according to a statement by New York-based News Corp.

Miller, who served as AOL's CEO from 2002 to 2006, will be based in New York and will report directly to Murdoch, the statement said.

"Mr. Miller will direct News Corp.'s stand-alone digital businesses, including MySpace, IGN Entertainment, Photobucket, as well as Jamba and the Hulu joint venture with NBC Universal."

"He will also collaborate with operational heads and digital executives through all lines of business around the globe to develop and refine digital efforts," the statement said.

Murdoch said digital initiatives would play a key role in the company's future development.

"Our focus moving forward is twofold: to enable our digital businesses to flourish as individual entities and to bolster the digital strategies of our core media properties by treating them as central to, and not separate from, the enterprise," said Murdoch.

"With his strong background in media and entertainment, coupled with a deep understanding of the digital business, Jon Miller is -- hands down -- the best equipped executive to provide the vision, oversight and operational experience to truly transform our offerings."

I am "fortunate to join the world's most dynamic media company at a time when digital opportunities are shaping our business in new and exciting ways," said Miller in a statement.

"News Corporation has shown a unique ability to excel globally in all forms of media and I look forward to working with its leadership as we position the company for continued growth and innovation," he added.

News Corp. also announced on Wednesday that it had named veteran News Corp. executive Peter Levinsohn as president of New Media and Digital Distribution for Fox Filmed Entertainment, the unit that runs the company's television and movie content.

Levinsohn had formerly led Fox Interactive Media, which ran MySpace and other online properties.

The reshuffling of News Corp.'s digital operations comes just one month after News Corp. president Peter Chernin announced he would be stepping down from his position in June.  Chernin had served as Murdoch's right-hand man for years.

Shares of News Corp. closed up 3.9 percent on Wednesday, at $8.


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