News Corp.: Let Us Entertain You

Count News Corp. among the media giants eyeing entertainment for the Web.

Count News Corp. among the media giants eyeing entertainment for the Web.

In the wake of an executive shuffling and a name change for News Corp.'s online media unit last week, the company plans to put increased emphasis on repackaging traditional media franchises for online delivery.

"We are just now launching the beginnings of our entertainment sites, and there's a tremendous amount of work ahead of us there," said Jon Richmond, the newly named president of News Digital Media - the company division formerly known as News America Digital Publishing. "But it's obviously an area that we can flourish in."

Richmond most recently headed up the News Corp. Fox Interactive unit - a division that developed video games and PC titles based on programming brands from the company's movie studios and the Fox television network.

Having guided a company that converted franchises such as The Simpsons and The X-Files into video games, Richmond sees similar potential for leveraging programming brands in the online marketplace.

"For the moment, it's under the umbrella of," Richmond said of the company's online entertainment programming efforts. "We would like to both enhance the offerings that are coming on board for our existing properties and look very, very carefully at original offerings."

The new emphasis for News Corp.'s online unit is in keeping with the strategy of James Murdoch, who had direct responsibility for the company's Web operations until his promotion last week to executive vice president of the overall company.

Murdoch will continue to champion the development of the online business in his new role, Richmond said.