NEW YORK As expected, News Corp. has signed former AOL CEO Jonathan Miller to the new position of chairman and CEO, Digital Media Group and chief digital officer for the conglomerate.
Based in New York and reporting directly to News Corp. chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, he is tasked with taking the company’s digital efforts to the next level.
“Our focus moving forward is twofold: to enable our digital businesses to flourish as individual entities and to bolster the digital strategies of our core media properties by treating them as central to, and not separate from, the enterprise,” Murdoch explained the move. “With his strong background in media and entertainment, coupled with a deep understanding of the digital business, Jon Miller is — hands down — the best equipped executive to provide the vision, oversight and operational experience to truly transform our offerings.”
The 52-year-old Miller is charged with driving digital strategy across the company in a much more comprehensive way than any executive in the past.
For one, he will oversee News Corp.’s digital businesses, including online social networking player MySpace, IGN Entertainment and Photobucket, as well as mobile entertainment arm Jamba and News Corp.’s Hulu joint venture with NBC Universal. In addition, he will work with unit heads and digital executives across News Corp. businesses around the globe to develop and refine digital efforts.
“I’m fortunate to join the world’s most dynamic media company at a time when digital opportunities are shaping our business in new and exciting ways,” said Miller. “News Corporation has shown a unique ability to excel globally in all forms of media and I look forward to working with its leadership as we position the company for continued growth and innovation.”
Peter Levinsohn, who has overseen Fox Interactive Media, the unit that includes MySpace and other key News Corp. web businesses, has been named to the new position of president, new media and digital distribution at Fox Filmed Entertainment. As expected, he will now focus on driving digital strategy at that unit that controls the company’s film and television content worldwide.
As reported late Friday when the digital reshaping at News Corp. first started taking shape, Levinsohn a 20-year News Corp. veteran, returns to the studio to oversee the use of all the unit’s content across all digital distribution channels, including Hulu and third-party platforms in the broadband, mobile and gaming fields.
He will also make policy decisions on new usage and business models and content protection, plus he will develop the studio’s original and derivative content strategy further — in both short and long-form digital entertainment.
“He is the perfect executive to place at the heart of our global content business as we look to further exploit our movie and television properties over new and yet to be discovered platforms,” Murdoch said.
Analysts have said one of Miller’s key jobs will be to re-energize the growth of MySpace. While it has made money, its monetization efforts have fallen behind the hopes of many, and Facebook and others have seen higher user growth.