June 19, 2008 / 6:23 PM / in 10 years

Murdoch sees higher digital revenue at Dow Jones

CANNES, France (Reuters) - News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch said on Thursday that the share of revenue coming from digital businesses across the Dow Jones Company could reach 75 percent “in a very few years.”

Murdoch, who along with News Corp Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin was speaking at the Cannes Lions 2008 international advertising festival, also said he wanted to make the Wall Street Journal “the best in the world.”

“It’s not just the Wall Street Journal, it’s the Dow Jones Company, whose revenues are nearly 50 percent digital. I can see in a very few years (revenues going up to) 75 percent (from) digital” he said.

Asked if he had been surprised by anything after buying the Wall Street Journal, he said: “I was surprised how cooperative the vast majority of journalists have been.”

Murdoch also said that tough economic times could provide opportunities for his group.

“As far as we are concerned, we are in a very strong place with our earnings. We intend to plow right ahead and take advantage of it, hopefully, whenever we can,” he said.

Chernin advised advertisers against curtailing spending.

“Spending marketing money in tough times, in my opinion, it’s the greatest investment you can make. You have so much more impact increasing your marketing spending in tough times,” Chernin said.

Murdoch’s media empire ranges from the recently acquired ownership of the Wall Street Journal and its parent company Dow Jones & Co to the world’s largest online social network, MySpace.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Brian Moss

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