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Fox Internet Revenue Seen Jumping Sixfold in '06

Fox Interactive Media revenue is expected to rise more than sixfold in the current fiscal year after parent company News Corp.'s recent Internet buying spree, a senior executive said Tuesday.

The division, created in July to consolidate News Corp.'s (NWS) growing roster of Internet properties, expects fiscal 2006 revenue to rise to about $300 million, up from about $47 million last year, Ross Levinsohn, president of Fox Interactive Media said at the UBS media conference in New York.

"We're the next generation of growth for News Corp. ," Levinsohn said.

News Corp., controlled by chairman and chief executive Rupert Murdoch, has been on a tear this year, spending about $1.3 billion snapping up Internet companies, including the purchase of Intermix Media, whose MySpace Web network is one of the hottest teen networks on the Web.

Although Murdoch has said more deals could be in the offing, big acquisitions are not expected just yet until the company gets its "infrastructure" in place, Levinsohn added.

One area where News Corp. has expressed interest is in Internet paid searches, Murdoch has said earlier.

Levinsohn said the company was considering its options on either buying or striking a partnership with a company.

They have talked to five companies, including Google Inc. (GOOG) and Yahoo Inc. (YHOO), Levinsohn said.

But Levinsohn added there would be no big purchases until it better integrated its existing media properties, which include Fox Filmed Entertainment, the Fox News network and many newspapers around the world, with the new Internet acquisitions.

But he added: "As things come up, we'll be opportunistic."

News Corp. is the parent company of the Fox News Channel, which operates FOXNews.com.