‘We Have Hit the Bottom’, Says NewsCorp Boss

05 March 2002

Some improvement in the US advertising market has been detected, according to News Corporation president and chief operating officer Peter Chemin, who predicts that ad revenues will increase by between 3% and 4% in the first quarter of this year.

“However,” he qualified cautiously, “that is off a base that was down about 10%. It feels as if we have hit the bottom, but we are a long way from hitting boom time.”

Chermin was also bullish about the prospects stateside for British hit TV import Pop Idol, a version of which NewsCorp plans to launch on its Fox Television network. Fox is currently taking a ratings leathering from rivals NBC and CBS, with a year-on-year profits slide from $211 million to $113m in the fourth quarter of 2001.

“It was not a great year from the ratings perspective and much of that is due to the decline of X-files and Ally McBeal,” admitted Chemin. However, “Pop Idol has the appeal because it is somewhere between a talent contest and the soap opera and I feel good about the decision to run it in the US,” he enthused.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff