The News Corporation, the media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, announced Wednesday that it had hired the former CEO of AOL, Jonathan F Miller, to oversee its digital media businesses, including its MySpace social-networking Web site. Other responsibilities will include GN Entertainment, the Photobucket pictures website and its Hulu online TV joint venture with GE's NBC-Universal.
Miller's role also would give one executive command of News Corp's digital operations, a move that could help the sprawling media company find more ways to beef up advertising sales that have slumped because of the world financial crisis.
News Corp also said that 20-year company veteran Peter Levinsohn will be the president of new media and digital distribution at Fox Filmed Entertainment, which controls News Corp's film and television content. These appointments come as Murdoch is reorganizing management in the wake of the decision by News Corporation's president, Peter Chernin, to step down.
News Corp. chairman Murdoch said digital efforts would be central to the future development of News Corp., whose newspaper, television, movie and other interests span the globe. "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," Murdoch said.
While Miller will run News Corp's online strategy, Levinsohn will supervise Fox Filmed Entertainment's content on Hulu, as well as in the mobile phone and gaming markets. Levinsohn most recently ran Fox Interactive Media, which includes MySpace.
"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," Murdoch said.
Miller said in a statement that he was "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. "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.
Miller is a founding partner of Velocity Interactive Group, an investment firm that includes Ross Levinsohn, a former News Corp executive and Peter Levinsohn's cousin. He also was chief executive of Time Warner Inc's AOL, a position he left in 2006.