Ross Levinsohn on . . . .Jon Fine
Fox Interactive President Ross Levinsohn, onstage at the iMedia conference in Palm Springs, Dec. 5:
“Rupert and Peter Chernin believe that if we don’t transform our existing businesses [News Corp. could be] irrelevant in ten years.”
“There is certainly hope for [cancelled, critically beloved Fox series] “Arrested Development” …You have not seen the last of “Arrested Development” whether “online, on DVD” or elsewhere. (Levinsohn’s comment preceded the announcement that NBC will distribute programs via iTunes, but this was still very meta moment evidencing how the Arrested Development development continues to develop.)
Levinsohn also said that News Corp.’s recent gaming acquisition IGN had technology in place which could enable an iTunes-esque application to buy sundry Fox programming.
On News Corp’s billion-dollar Web buying spree: “A lot of money, but not a lot in the scope of this business … The leading players have spent ten to fifteen billion on acquisitions.”
He needn’t have been so defensive on this point for this crowd. I heard more than one attendee goggling over the stat that myspace.com has 10% of the ad inventory on the Web—and so the myspace deal means for $600 million News Corp. got 10% of all ads in the only medium people are excited about.
Levinsohn on working for Rupert: “When the phone rings at 7:30 on Sunday morning, my wife says ‘I know who that is.’”
Related: My colleague Jessi Hempel wrote an outstanding cover story about myspace, which you should read if you haven’t already.