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Chase Carey Says News Corp Will “Do What’s Necessary” To Grow Hulu: UBS Confab

You wouldn’t know that the Hulu auction was a failure based on the way News Corp COO Chase Carey describes the owners’ plans. They decided to hang on to the digital video service because its value to them “dwarfed some of the values that were being put on it” by bidders including Dish Network and Google. Keeping Hulu reflects “a judgment that this digital space is incredibly important and is going to be, over the next five years and beyond, the most important field we have to navigate.” As a result, he told the UBS Annual Global Media and Communications Conference, “we’ll do what’s necessary to make it grow.” But that doesn’t necessarily mean adding movies to the package to make it more competitive with Netflix. ”Me-toos aren’t a great place to be in this business,” Carey says. “We want to look at it with a fresh eye.”

Investors strangely seemed uninterested in the News Of The World hacking scandal. But one of the consequences — News Corp’s decision to abandon its effort to buy BSkyB — was a concern. Carey says that it’s “one of the things we have to figure out” because he says the company gets ”a fraction of credit” it believes it deserves for its 39% stake in the UK media company. News Corp must ”do a better job communicating value.” Still, he didn’t leave investors empty-handed: Carey says that News Corp’s recently launched round of share repurchases is “certainly not a one-time thing. It’s an important part of our capital allocation,” he said, adding that News Corp shares are ”woefully undervalued.” Read More »

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News Corp COO Chase Carey: “Nothing We’ve Seen” To Support Allegations That 9/11 Family Phones Were Hacked

News Corp COO Chase Carey bobbed and weaved today when audience members at the Goldman Sachs Commmunicopia Conference asked questions that touched on the company’s hacking and police bribery scandals. “The media noise has been surreal around it,” he says. “The truth will come out. The issues will work their way out.” He did note that there’s “nothing we’ve seen” to support the allegation — which the Justice Department is investigating — that News of the World may have hacked phones of families of 9/11 victims. Carey wouldn’t rule out the possibility that News Corp might renew its effort to buy the 61% of BSkyB that it doesn’t already own. “We’ll continue to be a shareholder. … We have a lot of flexibility if and when something arises.” He added that he’s “not going to get into speculating” about whether UK officials might force News Corp to give up its current shares in the satellite power. As for the newspaper publishing business — which a lot of investors would like to see News Corp dump – Carey says the company should “take a fresh look at it.” But that could involve expanding operations such as Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal. “There are things beyond (putting them on iPads) that we can do.” Read More »

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Big Media’s 1Q Earnings Roundup: Cash

The money is flowing again into Big Media. Just about every media CEO who recently spoke to Wall Street analysts about this year’s 1st Quarter earnings said that ad sales are up and consumers are spending. “Viacom has never been stronger financially,” CEO Philippe Dauman crowed. At Disney, where net profits fell slightly, CEO Bob Iger expressed he was “confident in the trends we’re seeing across our segments”. So will these companies do more hiring and give out raises? Don’t be naive. Dauman, for one, told investors that he’s “watching for head count creep” while the company returns $1.9 billion to shareholders over the first 9 months of its fiscal year. Most Big Media companies are buying back their stock, making publicly held shares more valuable. CBS doubled its quarterly dividend to shareholders and Viacom plans to follow suit.

Here are some of the other major themes from this earnings season:

TV Advertising: Network executives were predictably upbeat about what will happen in their upfront ad sales negotiations in coming weeks. Disney CEO Bob Iger predicted the market will be “strong”. NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke upped that to “very strong”. And News Corp COO Chase Carey claimed it’ll be “truly strong”. Their pronouncements made CBS chief Les Moonves sound refreshingly bold when he projected “solid double-digit increases” in ad sales for his broadcast network. Executives cited the price increases they’ve seen in scatter sales as the economy has improved and auto, technology, telecom, … Read More »

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Tony Vinciquerra To Leave Fox, David Haslingden To Head Fox Networks Group

By | Thursday January 6, 2011 @ 10:44am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Big change on the TV side of News Corp. – Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, is leaving the company after 10 years, he just announced to the staff (his email is below). In a separate memo, also posted below, News Corp. president and COO Chase Carey lays out Fox’s new hierarchy, with David Haslingden, CEO of Fox International Channels, now being named president and COO of the Fox Networks Group. But in the new reporting structure, the layer that Vinciquerra held is being eliminated, with his current reports Haslingden; David Hill, Chairman and CEO of Fox Sports Media Group; Peter Rice, Chairman Entertainment, FNG; and Mike Hopkins, President of Affiliate Sales and Marketing for Fox Cable, now all reporting to Carey.

In the past couple of years, Vinciquerra emerged as Fox’s top TV deal-maker, spearheading tough carriage negotiations with Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and DISH that netted the company millions in retransmission consent fees and created a template for other broadcast networks. As chairman and CEO of Fox Networks Group, Vinciquerra oversaw Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox Cable Networks – FX, National Geographic Channel and NatGeo WILD, Fox Movie Channel, FUEL TV, 19 O&O regional sports networks, SPEED, Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Soccer Plus, Fox College Sports, FOX Deportes, and the Big Ten Network – as well as Fox International Channels, which reach 350 million subscribers worldwide. Under him, Fox’s cable networks became a key contributor to News Corp.’s bottom line and last quarter were responsible for 50% of the company’s profits.

Vinciquerra’s rise within Fox peaked in the spring of 2009 when, as part of the company-wide reorganization following the exit of Peter Chernin as News Corp. president and COO (Chernin was the person who had brought him to Fox), Vinciquerra was given oversight of the entire portfolio of Fox networks – broadcast and cable, domestic and international, reporting to Rupert Murdoch. Then in July of that year, Chase Carey was named president and COO of News Corp., and Vinciquerra began reporting to him. Several months later, Fox Entertainment chairman’s Peter Rice’s duties were expanded to oversee programming for the broadcast network as well as FX, something Vinicquerra had been doing. The move raised speculation about a possible exit by Vinciquerra. Last year, he was approached by Comcast’s Steve Burke about possibly joining the merged Comcast-NBCU TV operations.

Vinciquerra said he first considered leaving in July but decided to put off the move with two big retrans negotiations looming – one with Cablevision and one with DISH. With those resolved, he said he approached Carey with a request to be released early from his contract around Thanksgiving, and the two spent the past couple month ironing out the company’s succession plan. Vinciquerra will stay on until Feb. 11 to help with the transition. One of his last duties will be attending the Feb. 6 Super Bowl, which is carried by Fox this year, where he will introduce the new Fox Networks Group executive team to buyers and other key attendees.  As for the future, Vinciquerra said he had already been approached by several private equity firms and other companies. As for NBCU, that door closed long time ago as it involved a move to New York, said Vinciquerra, who plans to stay in Los Angeles with his family. He also intends to pursue his passion for broadband. (Vinciquerra is a member of the Board of Motorola). “I’ve been fascinated to watch what’s been going on in the communication business,” he said, adding that he has been studying how electricity changed the world. “I see a lot of parallels to broadband, and I feel it’s time to step back and study that on the public or private side. It’s going to have a revolutionary effect.”

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Chase Carey Touts Dual Revenue Stream

By | Tuesday September 14, 2010 @ 4:41pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

News Corp President/ COO Chase Carey is optimistic about the future of broadcast TV thanks to the emergence of the dual revenue stream model. That’s when, like their basic-cable cable counterparts, broadcast nets seek retransmission consent fees from cable and satellite operators to supplement ad revenue. ”I don’t think, with retransmission, we’re screwed,” Carey said about the broadcast networks today at HRTS’ first Newsmaker Luncheon of the season. “It has to be a dual revenue model, or it’s not realistic to expect broadcast to compete with cable.” Speaking of cable, Carey also said he will push for higher carriage fees for News Corp’s cable networks FX and National Geographic. “We have room to grow,” he said in the Q&A session.

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