Murdoch Touts News Corp.’s Market Position, New-Media Assets

Oct 20, 2006  •  Post A Comment

News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch said the company’s new-media assets “are moving quickly toward profitability” during his address Friday to the annual shareholders’ meeting in Manhattan.

“With the acquisition of MySpace.com and other popular sites, in the space of one year, our company has begun to rival and in some cases surpass the Internet elite,” Mr. Murdoch said.

The mogul reminded shareholders that one of News Corp.’s time-tested strategies has been to invest early in new businesses that can become additional sources of revenue as its established businesses mature.

“Our share price is up 40 percent in the last twelve months, and nearly 80 percent over the last five years. Investors are recognizing that we are the best positioned media company in the world today, with the best mix of assets with real global spread to maintain growth and produce value for shareholders over the long term,” said Mr. Murdoch.

His comments of course come at the end of the week in which NBC Universal announced it will be cutting 700 jobs and $750 million in annual expenses in the next two years as it retools for the digital era.

“To some in the traditional media business, these are the most stressful of times. But to us, these are great times,” Mr. Murdoch said. “Technology is liberating us from old constraints, lowering key costs, easing access to new customers and markets, and multiplying the choices we can offer.”

In other business, Mr. Murdoch said shareholders had approved the extension of a three-year-old “poison pill” measure designed to protect News Corp. from takeover attempts.