Murdoch is in his 70s but his mother is still alive so the genes suggest that he can still afford his customary long-term vision. I have always been a great fan of Murdoch. I admire success in others as much as Leftists hate it. But that is probably because I have always been happy with my own life. Murdoch is pictured below with his Chinese third wife, Wendi Deng. I think he is a happy man too. He has even played himself in some episodes of "The Simpsons" -- though he does own that show. It was he that first put it to air, in fact
News Corporation's market value has passed that of all its traditional media peers for the first time and the company's Fox News Channel alone will soon be worth $10 billion, News chairman Rupert Murdoch says. Addressing the company's annual meeting in New York yesterday, Mr Murdoch told shareholders that financial markets were now noticing the group's average 14 per cent increase in operating income in the past four years. "Since January 1, we have outperformed all other media stocks, and indeed over the past five years we have seen our stock grow faster than both the general market and our peers," he said. "And it is with some pride that I tell you that last week our market value exceeded all of our traditional peers for the first time ever."
Mr Murdoch said News, owner of The Australian, had invested $US900 million in the US pay-TV channel Fox News since its launch. "Within the next few years I expect the channel to earn at least that amount annually and its value to exceed $US10 billion," he said. Last week News launched another pay-TV channel, Fox Business Network (FBN), to more than 30 million subscribers and will soon conclude its acquisition of The Wall Street Journal's owner, Dow Jones.
"Make no mistake -- FBN faces many challenges against an entrenched competitor with a 17-year head start," Mr Murdoch said. "I view FBN's growth in terms of years, not months, and I am confident our new approach to business news will be successful as we again offer viewers more choice in their media consumption."
Mr Murdoch said the Dow Jones deal would provide News with "remarkable reach and flexibility in the growing business news sector". "There is a real hunger -- not just in the US but across the globe -- for financial news," he said. "The opportunities are immense and senior management has formulated a long-term plan to integrate the unique properties of Dow Jones within our complementary assets and overall corporate and digital strategy."
Mr Murdoch also said News's internet businesses were continuing to grow, and he expected the company's internet revenues to reach "around $US1 billion" in the coming year. "While other competitors have entered the arena, none of our peers compare in terms of sheer numbers of users or -- more importantly for stockholders -- revenues," he said. Mr Murdoch said Fox Interactive Media's internet portfolio now reached more than 160 million people around the world. "MySpace, our most popular site, turned profitable for the first time last year and now ranks first in the US in total page views and is among the top five sites worldwide in unique visitors," he said.
But Mr Murdoch said other businesses were also doing well, with News Corp's Italian pay-TV channel, Sky Italia, significantly increasing its operating profit. "Sky Italia is now a major growth driver for our company. It's easy to forget that only three years ago it lost $267 million," he said. "In fiscal 2007, Sky Italia made almost that much in profit and is now on track for continued strong growth."
Mr Murdoch said the Fox International Channels business now operated 270 channels, broadcasting in 31 languages across more than 75 countries. That business did not exist a few years ago but grew profit by 80 per cent last year as it expanded to a larger global audience, he said.
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