Murdoch To Remain In News Corp. Saddle

News Corp.'s 76-year-old CEO Rupert Murdoch Friday said he plans to remain in the post for at least another three years.

Speaking at the company's yearly shareholder meeting, the executive also said that while building the just-launched Fox Business Network (FBN) into a profitable venture vis-à-vis CNBC will be a marathon, he expects the 11-year-old Fox News Channel to reach a valuation of some $10 billion in the next few years, with profits reaching some $900 million annually.

"Make no mistake--FBN faces many challenges against an entrenched competitor with a 17-year head start," he said. "I view FBN's growth in terms of years, not months--and I'm confident that our new approach to business news will be successful."

Also in the financial news arena, Murdoch said News Corp. intends to expand The Wall Street Journal when it gains control in a matter of months--but principally online via a bolstered and the launch of a range of vertically integrated sites. He has previously indicated that he plans to transform the subscription-based into a free, ad-supported site.



"We see the expansion worldwide of the digital editions," he said regarding the Journal brand.

In a similar vein, Murdoch--as is typical at a shareholder meeting--was bullish on the company's success at adapting to the new media era. He cited MySpace turning a profit for the first time in 2006 as a positive, and said he expected $1 billion in Internet revenues over the next 12 months for the company.

"We have a long way to go, but we're starting to be rewarded for our efforts to transform ourselves into a company for the digital age," he said.

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