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IAC Chairman Barry Diller 'Not Exactly Going Into The Rocking Chair' After Dropping CEO Title

The Internet company reported improved fourth-quarterly results as Greg Blatt made his first earnings call appearance since being named CEO.

NEW YORK - "I'm not exactly going into the rocking chair," IAC chairman Barry Diller said Wednesday on the Internet company’s quarterly earnings call about his recent decision to leave the CEO post to former Match.com boss Greg Blatt. “I expect that we will become much more focused, aggressive, ambitious than we have been before.”

Blatt himself said he is focusing on figuring out growth opportunities for the company. He cited micro-payments and subscriptions as key opportunities, particularly at a time when tablet computers and mobile platforms are seeing strong consumer adoption.

Their comments came after the online media firm said it swung to a profit in the fourth quarter in what was IAC’s first earnings call since Blatt’s appointment, which coincided with news that John Malone’s Liberty Media was selling its stake in IAC.

IAC, which houses such brands as Ben Silverman’s multi-media production outfit Electus, Ask.com, Match.com and Citysearch.com, posted a quarterly profit of $87 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $1.01 billion, which included a big goodwill impairment charge. Revenue rose 27 percent to $451.4 million.

While most financials exceeded Wall Street expectations, adjusted profit didn’t meet estimates amid higher costs tied to The Daily Beast's acquisition of Newsweek, which closed this week.

IAC’s media and other unit, which includes Electus, production firm Notional, The Daily Beast, CollegeHumor and others, saw fourth-quarter revenue rise 28 percent to $66.7 million. But its operating loss of $37.9 million was well above the loss of $2.1 million recorded a year earlier. The latest operating loss was driven by a $32.6 million impairment charge for Shoebuy.com, increased expenses at The Daily Beast and transaction costs associated with the formation of its joint venture with Newsweek, IAC said.