Rupert Murdoch has wasted little time in filling the void left by the shock resignation from the family firm of his eldest son and heir apparent, Lachlan [WAMN: 01-Aug-05].

The News Corporation chairman/ceo has elevated former Republican party advisor Roger Ailes to the role of chairman of NewsCorp's Fox Television Stations group.

Ailes is currently chairman of Fox News Channel, the nation's largest (and most right-leaning) cable news provider, which over the last five years he has led to supremacy over Time Warner's CNN.

The TV group operates 35 stations in key US markets, including New York and Los Angeles, and Ailes will report jointly to Murdoch and chief operating officer Peter Chernin.

Says Ailes: "Rupert and Peter have wanted to create as much synergy as possible [between Fox News and Fox stations]."

He adds that his principle role will be to "look strategically at profits and ratings over time" which could in future lead to joint programming of news and information.

  • Meantime, NewsCorp continues its aggressive advance on the internet. The company has trained its sights on Blinkx, a privately owned web search engine, headquartered in San Francisco.

    Blinkx is considered a front-runner in the area of web video searches, a sector expected to attract both audiences and advertisers as the number of homes with broadband connections increases.

    The deal has yet to be inked and the costs are unknown, but Murdoch announced recently he was willing to spend up to a total of $2 billion (€1.61; £1.1bn) on internet acquisitions.

    The buy-up process is intended to leverage the websites of NewCorp's Fox TV brands.

    Data sourced from Financial Times Online and New York Times; additional content by WARC staff