Ex-Investment Banker to Reenergize NewsCorp's Fading Asian Star

01 November 2007

HONG KONG: Asian media giant Star Group, the least twinkling celestial body in Rupert Murdoch's constellation, is set for a major revamp under the baton of recently appointed ceo Paul Aiello.

Says Aiello (43), a former investment banker whose vernacular suggests he has overdosed on Fox TV: "My goal is to create a new Star."

He has a tough task ahead.

Star, Asia's largest cross-border TV company with channels in over a dozen countries, is in ratings decline in the Indian market it once dominated; in China its expansion plans have come to naught; and analysts estimate that group operating profits are down by nearly 30% in the current fiscal year.

Neither an acquisition program, nor a flotation is the way out of the wood, Aiello believes - belying speculation that NewsCorp's hiring of an investment banker implied such a course.

Rather, says Aiello: "Our content needs to be refreshed across the board, and a lot of the ways that we monetize that content needs to be updated, too. We have to go local and deep."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online. additional content by WARC staff