NEW YORK – Rupert Murdoch's News Corp plans to hire former AOL Chief Executive Jonathan Miller to supervise the media conglomerate's digital strategy, two News Corp media outlets reported and a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed.
Miller would oversee News Corp's online operations such as the MySpace social network and its investment in video website Hulu, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Friday.
Miller is bound by a non-compete agreement with his former employer, Time Warner Inc, which is why the source was not authorized to share the news on Saturday.
The agreement expires within days, according to Kara Swisher, who runs the Boomtown blog at News Corp's All Things Digital website. The announcement could come early next week, she wrote.
Miller, a partner at investment firm Velocity Interactive Group, left Time Warner Inc's AOL Internet service in 2006. He did not respond to an e-mailed request for comment.
Peter Levinsohn, who runs News Corp's Fox Interactive Media division -- including MySpace -- would take the top spot at the Fox film and TV studio, according to the Journal, which News Corp owns. Miller would report to Murdoch.
A News Corp official also was not immediately available. The news, first reported by Nikki Finke on her Deadline Hollywood Daily blog, was also reported by Ross Levinsohn, Miller's partner at Velocity, on his own blog.
News Corp combined its film and TV production businesses earlier this month as News Corp's longtime chief operating officer and veteran Hollywood figure Peter Chernin prepares to leave later this year.
News Corp, which also owns the New York Post, the Sky Italia satellite TV network and newspapers in Britain and Australia, has struggled because of advertising revenue declines that have been exacerbated by recession.
The company has cut jobs and has drawn Wall Street's ire for keeping its ailing newspapers. Its shares have lost nearly half their value in the past 12 months but Miller could help restore Murdoch's reputation for prescience about the future of media.
(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)