Rupert Murdoch, chairman/ceo of News Corporation, is in bullish mode, thanks to a surge in ad revenues at the group’s Fox Network.

The mogul told Australian magazine Bulletin that the hitherto ailing network is set to post a “solid, but not huge profit”, thereby confounding Wall Street’s entrail-rakers who had predicted Fox would lose $110 million (€102.41m; £68.05m) in NewsCorp’s second fiscal quarter.

Short term expectancy remains encouraging, enthused Murdoch: “We went through all of our operations yesterday at our management meeting here [Australia] and the advertising outlook for the next several months is extremely good.”

As to his plans for America’s second largest satellite operator DirecTV, the tycoon was cagey: “We would like it, or a part of it, but the answer is not at any price. If anybody makes impossible demands we’re quite happy to walk away from it.”

Quizzed by Bulletin about his interest in rival non-terrestrial broadcaster EchoStar Communications, number two in the US market, Murdoch declared his preference for DirecTV

Switching from bull to hawk mode, the NewsCorp supremo then declared his support for US president George W Bush’s eagerness to wage war on Iraq. “We can't back down now, where you hand over the whole of the Middle East to Saddam and I think Bush is acting very morally, very correctly, and I think he is going to go on with it.”

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff