Murdoch to appoint a chief digital officer

Jonathan Miller, the former CEO of TimeWarner's (TWX) AOL unit, is likely to be named chief digital officer of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. (NWS) as early as next week. Murdoch has been having fits with some of his internet properties, particularly online social network MySpace.

According toThe Wall Street Journal, "In the position, Mr. Miller is expected to help coordinate digital strategies across News Corp.'s businesses, and he will oversee the company's MySpace social networking site and its investment in Hulu, the online video site."

Miller's big challenge will be MySpace. Although it is one of the largest internet properties in the world, it and rival Facebook have had trouble bringing in significant amounts of advertising. Unlike online portals like AOL, which have discrete section like news, sports and games, social networks are not organized into such neat segments. Social networks are, in essence, groups of tens of millions of people posting information about themselves to share with other people. That makes targeting their audiences much more difficult for marketers.

Social network content may simply be too disorganized to ever draw much ad revenue. If so, Miller can't do a great deal for Mr. Murdoch.

Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.

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