Fox Interactive restructures, launches ad network

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NEW YORK -- Amid reports that it will not reach its $1 billion revenue target for the current fiscal year, Fox Interactive Media is restructuring its executive ranks and launching a new ad network.

As part of the realignment, the News Corp. division's chief revenue officer, Michael Barrett, will leave the company.

Influential tech blog TechCrunch first reported late Thursday that FIM, which houses MySpace, would not reach its target amid recent signs that MySpace's ability to draw ad dollars has underperformed expectations. News chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch said in February that he expected the company to hit $1 billion this fiscal year, which ends in June, but the blog said revenue will be closer to $900 million.

A spokeswoman for FIM would not confirm the specific details. "We expect to come close to our target," she said.

In early February, Google, which is in the midst of a multiyear $900 million advertising deal with MySpace, said "social networking inventory is not monetizing as well as expected."

News Corp. also said that Adam Bain, formerly executive vp technology and production, will be president of the new FIM Audience Network. The unit will be charged with monetizing the company's assets using "hyper-targeting" technology.

"Their charter will be to optimize monetization across FIM's content network and that of other third-party publishers," FIM president Peter Levinsohn said in a memo to employees. "The merging of these groups into a single business unit will provide our family of brands as well as new third-party clients with the ability to extend their reach and enhance their advertising effectiveness across a vast online audience."

Levinsohn's memo also said that Barrett will leave the company after two months "to pursue new endeavors."

Various reports also have said that Jeff Berman, executive vp marketing and content for MySpace, will take over as head of sales for the social networking giant. The FIM spokeswoman could not confirm this, though.
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