Murdoch negative about ad budgets

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Rupert Murdoch said last week that “stress in the US economy’ is squeezing advertising budgets, adding that News Corp’s Fox Interactive Media would miss an ambitious $1 billion annual revenue goal by 10 per cent.

But FIM, which oversees the MySpace online social network, is a “very healthy” business and expects “well over” $1 billion in revenue in fiscal 2009, Murdoch said on News Corp’s fiscal third-quarter earnings conference call.

“There’s no doubt the consumer economy is stressed. You’re seeing it affected in advertising, more short-term planning and booking,” said the News Corp chairman and chief executive.

The media conglomerate said fiscal third-quarter profit tripled on higher advertising sales at the Fox TV network and Fox News Channel, as well as a $1.7 billion one-time gain from its stock swap with Liberty Media .

News Corp, which also owns the 20th Century Fox film studio, said its net profit rose to $2.7 billion, or 91 cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31, from $871 million, or 27 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Source: News Corp.

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