News Corp forms Internet unit

MUMBAI: US media conglomerate News Corp has announced the formation of an online unit Fox Interactive Media (Fim).

The new unit will leverage the strength of Fox’s entertainment, news and sports brands across the Internet to offer a richer online experience to its millions of users.

It may be recalled that it was just three months ago that News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch had called for a focussed look at how to leverage online online distribution, more so in the wake of the steady increases in advertising dollars that the Intenet was pulling in.

The company states that veteran media and interactive executive Ross Levinsohn will become Fim president. Fim will be based in Los Angeles. Additionally, veteran Fox News executive Bert Solivan will join as executive VP.

Fim will manage the growing stable of interactive assets from all Fox divisions - including the highly trafficked foxsports.com, foxnews.com and fox.com, as well as coordinate the owned-and-operated television station web properties. FIM will immediately focus on creating a robust broadband experience leveraging the vast current and archive video assets, while also building an integrated hub of dynamic content with multiple points of entry, seamless navigation and the ability to customize and personalize.

It will provide the ultimate home base for users’ news, information, entertainment and community needs. The new division will also pursue strategic investments which will aim at further enhancing the Internet experience for Fox users.

Fim executives will work closely with Fox’s wireless entertainment and digital media groups as well as with management of all Fox units to ensure that each operating division continues to shape its unique voice on the web.

Murdoch said, “We are launching this new unit after months of internal study and discussion among News Corp. senior management from all key divisions. Across the board, we believe no other media company has been as successful at creating distinctive content and finding ways to distribute it over every conceivable platform to mass audiences around the world. We’re confident this success will translate to the Internet. We believe that the time is right for the launch of Fim and we’re committed to devoting the resources to make it one of the premier companies on the web.”

Levinsohn said, “I am thrilled with the opportunity to lead this exciting new venture. Rupert Murdoch and Peter Chernin are committed to making Fim a key player in the new media landscape and our operating divisions are excited to have a stake in this new business. We have all the building blocks for success and we’re convinced that by combining our internet assets under one banner and making a few shrewd investments, we can quickly become one of the most exciting and innovative destinations on the web.”

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