Michael Barrett exits Fox Interactive Media


Michael Barrett, who had served as Fox Interactive Media's chief revenue officer since 2006, is leaving the company, which has announced a major sales reorganization and the formation of a FIM-branded ad network.

Barrett, who came to FIM after serving as the executive vp of AOL's Media Networks, has been the public face of News Corp.'s efforts toward turning MySpace into a moneymaking machine reflective of its hyper-growth of the past few years. However, his position is being eliminated as News Corp. will look to decentralize its digital sales, while the FIM group specifically leans more on technology as its key driver of advertising growth. 

To that end, the company has formed FIM Audience Network which will sell ads across internal properties such as MySpace and IGN as well as on sites outside the company using FIM's proprietary Hyper Targeting technology.

That product, launched last fall, was designed to harvest the mass amounts of personal data that MySpace users' share on their profile pages to show those users more targeted ads.

Now it appears that Hyper Targeting – which came about following News Corp.'s acquisition of Strategic Data Corporation in early 2007, will be used to bolster the monetization capabilities of multiple Web brands. To lead that effort, Adam Bain – who was executive vp of technology and production - has been named to the new position of president, Fox Interactive Media Audience Network. 

As for Barrett – who will stay on for the next two months - FIM officials said that his role would no longer be necessary as the group's individual brands would now be responsible for selling their own core inventory, negating the need for a centralized sales force.

In the past, several digital media buyers has said that FIM has had little success in packaging inventory across disparate properties such as MySpace, IGN and the local sports property Scout Media, for example.