On the Dow Jones Company:

I don’t think there is a better company to acquire to explore the burgeoning demand for global financial information than Dow Jones with its power brand names, unassailable credibility, and worldwide reach. It’s why we put such a premium on its value, and why I have spent the better part of the past three months enduring criticism normally leveled at some sort of genocidal tyrant.

If it didn’t think it was such a perfect fit with such unlimited potential to grow on its own and to grow in tandem with News Corp assets, believe me, I would have walked away.

We persevered because Dow Jones is arguably the world’s most prestigious, powerful brand in financial services. The Wall Street Journal is the greatest newspaper in America and one of the greatest in the world. It has tremendous journalists and excellent management, and while powerful and durable, it is also a brand that could be much further exploited.

On MySpace:

After two years of first steps we are starting to make measurable progress. Today Fox Interactive Media reported its first full year of profitability. It may not seem surprising given MySpace’s meteoric rise in that period. But it wasn’t so long ago – 24 months – when many said we were embarking on a fool’s errand. The 12 months prior to our acquiring MySpace, the site generated $23 million in revenue. Today, on the back of its durability and success, we are forecasting that MySpace alone will generate in excess of $800 million in revenue in fiscal 08.

The traffic numbers of MySpace certainly suggest a steady continuation of success. MySpace added 1.5 million unique users in June, while increasing its page views by 2 billion and just last week MySpace had its biggest day ever with 4.3 billion page views and 7.3 billion ad impressions. That was in one day.

On News Corp’s online newspapers:

Our digital successes aren’t confined to MySpace alone. Our newspaper websites in Britain, Australia, and the New York Post continue to show growth. In fiscal 07, the total number of users across all our newspaper sites grew 25% to 20 million users generating nearly 100 million in revenue. At Foxnews.com revenue by 50% and is increasing its steady profitability. At our station owned and operated websites, we saw a 350% increase in unique users, although admittedly from a small base. We are still in the early stages of our digital development, with much room for growth.

* To listen to the full webcast, click here.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey