Specific Media announced Wednesday that the company, in partnership with recording artist Justin Timberlake, will buy MySpace from News Corp. in hopes of revitalizing the ailing social networking site.The rumored price is around US$35 million to $40 million, less than a tenth of the $580 million News Corp. paid for the social network in 2005. That was before Facebook grew and took the social networking crown for itself. Since then, MySpace users and profits have dropped significantly.In February, Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate said it was looking for a sale by the end of June and was hoping for around $100 million. That steeper price tag may have been wishful thinking."I think News Corp. management was sick of watching MySpace lose money every quarter and decided to cut its losses and took the best offer it could get," Michael Corty, equity analyst at Morningstar, told the E-Commerce Times.Despite the relatively meager rumored sale price, unloading MySpace may have been a smart … [Read more...] about News Corp. Sends the MySpace Band Packing
Two billionaires are burying the technology hatchet this holiday season. Rupert Murdoch and John Malone ended a two-year battle over Liberty Media's stake in News Corp. with a US$11 billion deal.Specifically, Liberty Media has agreed to exchange its 16.3 percent stake in News Corp. for News Corp.'s 38.5 percent stake in DirecTV, as well as regional sports networks in Denver, Pittsburgh and Seattle, and $550 million in cash. The deal marks one of the largest stock buybacks in corporate history."We are extremely pleased with the successful, tax-efficient conversion of our News holding. Our investment in DirecTV will create financial, operating, and strategic flexibility," said Liberty Chairman John Malone. "Liberty's ownership of News has created tremendous value for our shareholders, and we are grateful to Rupert Murdoch and News management."Fox and MySpace.Liberty seems content. It becomes the largest shareholder in the world's largest satellite television provider. DirecTV will put … [Read more...] about News Corp. Agrees to DirecTV Swap With Liberty Media
Yahoo has held talks with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. about a partnership, merger or similar arrangement, according to reports. Such a deal would help fend off Microsoft's unsolicited US$44.6 billion bid to take over the portal and create an Internet force capable of rivaling Google.News Corp. would offer significant benefit to Yahoo, most notably in the form of the MySpace social networking site, which could add to the portal's reach into a key demographic.Reports of the talks surfaced first in the Silicon Alley Insider Web log. The terms being discussed are for News Corp. to merge Yahoo with its online properties, held under the Fox Interactive Corp. brand, and take a 20 percent stake in the resulting company, according to The Wall Street Journal.The two are known to have talked turkey before. Last June, Murdoch reportedly offered Yahoo the chance to take over MySpace in exchange for what was then believed to be a 30 percent ownership stake in the combined portal. Those talks ended … [Read more...] about Is Yahoo Flirting With News Corp. to Make Microsoft Jealous?
Call it the "New Moon" strategy at Microsoft. Team Google and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. are having a lovers' quarrel over search aggregation of news content; Murdoch claims Team Google is nothing but a bloodthirsty vampire draining potential ad revenue.So like a hunky werewolf in a certain blockbuster movie, here comes Team Bing to try and steal away News Corp. heart.Actually, both the Financial Times and News Corp.'s own Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Microsoft is offering to pay News Corp. for its affections in the form of de-indexing their content from Google searches while keeping them high on Bing queries. The FT adds that Microsoft is offering the same financial love to other as-yet-unnamed content providers as well.Microsoft's apparent move, fueled by its legendary deep pockets, is taking advantage of the fight Murdoch has waged with Google over the past few months over what he sees as a lack of compensation for linking to content from News Corp. properties like The … [Read more...] about Microsoft May Grease News Corp.’s Palm to Quit Google
Media giant News Corp. is looking to weigh in bigger online, telling investors this week that it intends to build on the success of its MySpace.com site, will show some of its television programming exclusively on the Internet, and will try its hand at Web search.There was speculation that the search part of the equation would most likely come through acquisition, but the online aggressiveness of the Fox broadcast, movie studio, news, and publishing giant highlights the gradual movement of old media companies onto the Information Superhighway.One News Corp. observer who asked not to be identified attended this week's press conference and told the E-Commerce Times the biggest challenge for such strategies remains the creation of a profitable business model for new media using the assets of an old media company."The whole challenge for these traditional media companies, whether it's on the Internet or cell phones, is how to monetize the copyrights you own, or plan to buy," he … [Read more...] about News Corp. to Explore Search Business
The founder of popular social networking site MySpace.com is claiming the site is worth 100 times what it sold for last year and is prodding federal agencies to probe the sale of the company to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.News Corp. purchased MySpace last year for US$580 million. Founder Brad Greenspan now says the site is worth at least $20 billion and possibly as much as $30 billion to News Corp. and claims that the timing of the deal and other factors shortchanged shareholders.Greenspan himself earned an estimated $47 million through the sale of MySpace by parent company Intermix. At the time, when Murdoch was negotiating to buy the social networking firm, Intermix was busy negotiating a settlement with New York law enforcement officials over its alleged use of adware.In a statement, Greenspan claimed that e-mails and other information he has posted to the Freemyspace.com Web site show that the deal was consummated despite belief at the time that the company was worth more. He said … [Read more...] about MySpace Founder Seeks Probe of Sale to News Corp.
This last week was filled with events that made me wonder how many of our leaders had sent their brains to wacky land. On the political front, the U.S. president, our president, threatened financial default and elderly folks on fixed social security incomes in order to get the U.S. credit limit raised. Threatening old defenseless folks always works so very well, and the collapse of the U.S. credit rating would do wonders (he says sarcastically) for the U.S. recovery.On the right, folks were walking out of meetings and taking the equally brilliant tactic of not actually negotiating. But this was all topped by News Corp., which got caught hacking into the phone of a murdered child and was accused of doing the same to 911 victims. Then, instead of holding the folks who did it accountable, the company used Bizarro decision making to retain the top executive responsible while firing the rest of the company. Seriously, they really did that -- it's not a joke. Which, and this should have … [Read more...] about OPINION Those Crazy People Running the US Government and News Corp. Need New Jobs
NBC and News Corp. -- which owns Fox -- plan to take on Google's YouTube by forming their own Web-based video outlet to gain exposure for their deep wells of content and partnering with a host of Google competitors to make it happen.The two media giants say their site will instantly be the largest Internet video distribution network on the Web. AOL, Microsoft's MSN, News Corp.'s MySpace and Yahoo are among the partners who will help distribute the video content, the two firms stated.The yet-to-be-named site will launch by mid-summer, the companies said, and will likely have a greater reach than Google's YouTube."This is a game changer for Internet video," said News Corp. President and COO Peter Chernin. "We'll have access to just about the entire U.S. Internet audience at launch. And for the first time, consumers will get what they want -- professionally produced video delivered on the sites where they live."The networks bring a powerful lineup of popular content to the venture, with … [Read more...] about NBC, News Corp. to Start Their Own New Tube
Fox Entertainment Group (FEG), a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., announced Tuesday it has acquired Beliefnet, a leading religious Web site. The purchase expands the media mogul's marketing and advertising reach into a demographic that provides the company with a balance to its other online properties such as MySpace.Beliefnet, founded in 1999, offers users information and devotional tools on nearly every major religion, including Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Scientology, Mormonism and pagan and Earth-based religions. In addition, the site doubles as a one-stop shop for spiritual users, providing news, blogs, e-mail newsletters, social networking tools and more to an average of 3.1 million unique monthly visitors and 7.6 million subscribers, according to the site.With the acquisition, Beliefnet will become part of Fox Digital Media.Interest in faith and spirituality has surged in recent years, leading to a strong and continually expanding market, according … [Read more...] about News Corp. Gets Religion
Less than a month after the hacker group LulzSec announced it was disbanding, it has apparently made a comeback with a massive attack on the websites of embattled media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his News Corp. empire.LulzSec -- or at least a group using that name -- first redirected visitors of the Sun newspaper, a News Corp. publication, to the New Times website, which the hackers had taken over.The visitors saw a mock Sun Page One story announcing Murdoch's death.LulzSec later redirected the Sun's online visitors to the hacker group's own Twitter feed.Meanwhile, Sabu, a prominent figure within LulzSec, has tweeted that LulzSec is "sitting" on a cache of emails belonging to the Sun and News of the World, the paper that News Corp. dissolved last week in the wake of its ongoing phone-hacking scandal. LulzSec has promised a press release will follow.As this unfolds, AntiSec, a new hacker community set up jointly by LulzSec and Anonymous, another well-known hacker group, has been tweeting … [Read more...] about News Corp. Too Tempting a Target for LulzSec to Resist