Web 2.0 Conference: Rupert Murdoch and Chris DeWolfe, In Which Chris Talks About His New Contract And Rupert Finds The Notion Of Killing The New York Times "Nice"Jon Fine
Quick takes on a meandering post-supper discussion:
—Chris DeWolfe is re-upping for a couple more years at MySpace, he told attendees tonight. His initial two-year deal signed at the time of the News Corp deal is expiring imminently—like a few hours from now.
—Murdoch did not specify a figure for MySpace revenues as he has in the past, throwing around figures like $800 million and $750 million without really landing on either. He did say that he hopes MySpace could hit $300 million in profit.
—MySpace is opening up its platform to software developers, a la Facebook. A beta with about 2 million users will test out a bunch of applications before they go live.
—Murdoch on Facebook, a company he’s talked up previously: “Despite all the hype, we seem to be growing faster.”
—Murdoch on what he wants to do with the Wall Street Journal: “Improve it in every way. [You don’t say!] Add “general national and international news.”
At which point John Battelle asked if he wanted to “kill the New York Times.” To which Murdoch said “that’d be nice.” (Big audience reaction to that one.)
And he also wants the Journal to significantly expand coverage of “arts, fashion and culture.” Sounds like they’re readying a big push to draw in movie advertising.
—I am not 100% sure on this, but it sounded like he said CNBC was “half dead.” [Disclosure: I am an on-air contributor to CNBC.]
—An audience member asked Rupert how he knew when a price is just right. Murdoch: “I don’t know. I just hope.”
—Chris DeWolfe has excellent hair.