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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 November 2005, 10:37 GMT
Murdoch says share price 'rotten'
Rupert Murdoch
Rupert Murdoch and his family own almost 30% of News Corp shares
Rupert Murdoch has admitted that the share price of his media group News Corporation is currently "rotten", but insisted it would bounce back strongly.

Speaking to shareholders in Adelaide, Australia, the 74-year-old put the dip down to investor fears at the impact of new technologies such as the internet.

He said it was an industry-wide problem and that the internet would eventually become very profitable for media firms.

Online advertising has hit newspaper revenues hard in recent years.

I'm just sick of being told I'm dying - I'm feeling great
Rupert Murdoch

While Mr Murdoch admitted there was a "tremendous amount of work to be done" in getting News Corp to make a significant profit from the internet, he said such new technologies would eventually be central to media firms' revenue streams.

"As people realise, as the world goes on and gets more complicated and more advanced, that media is going to be a bigger and more central industry than ever before," he said.

At the start of this month, News Corp's newspaper group News International bought UK classified advertising website Propertyfinder.com for 14.3m ($25.3m).

Succession issue

Mr Murdoch was speaking to Australian shareholders for the first time since he moved the company to the US a year ago.

Touching upon the issue of who will succeed him at the company, he said it was a matter for his fellow directors - although he added that he did not feel like retiring any time soon.

"We have a very strong bunch of candidates, if you like, of senior executives of the company that would please and be seen as a good asset in any company," he said.

"I'm just sick of being told I'm dying - I'm feeling great."

Asked if he would like a member of his family to succeed him, he said: "It's not going to be my say at all."

News Corp's empire stretches from the Fox television network in the US, to Sky TV in the UK, and newspapers including The Sun, The Times and the New York Post.

Last week it reported a 10% growth in first-quarter revenue to $5.7bn, compared to the same time a year earlier, boosted by a strong performance by its 20th Century Fox film studio.

However, it made a net loss of $433m for the quarter after it took a $1bn charge relating to the valuation of its television station licences.

In the same period a year ago, the firm reported a $625m net profit.

Film sales lift News Corp revenue
10 Nov 05 |  Business
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02 Nov 05 |  Business
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07 Oct 05 |  Business
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08 Sep 05 |  Business
Fox helps boost News Corp profits
10 Aug 05 |  Business
News Corp in $580m internet buy
19 Jul 05 |  Business

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