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Neophyte Director? No Problem for News Corp.

"We think Natalie is going to be a wonderful addition to our board of directors and we look forward to working with her," said Murdoch.

For the first quarter ended Sept. 30, Murdoch's media empire reported net income of $732 million, or 23 cents a share, for the September period, down from the $843 million, or 27 cents a share, it logged for the same quarter last year.

News Corp. attributed the profit drop to one-time gains recorded last year related to asset sales. On an operating basis, the company reported a 23% jump in earnings to $1.05 billion.

Revenue jumped 20% to $7.07 billion.

The company's earnings beat Wall Street's target by a penny, based on Thomson First Call's average analyst estimate, and its top line surpassed predictions of $6.5 billion.

Success at News Corp.'s film division powered the company's performance, thanks to strong showings from The Simpsons Movie, which has grossed over $524 million in worldwide box office, and Live Free or Die Hard, which has surpassed $375 million in box office returns.

The filmed entertainment division posted a 51% gain in operating income for the quarter to $362 million.

Murdoch said on the call that Fox Interactive Media Internet division, which includes the popular social networking site MySpace, posted first-quarter revenues of $188 million, up 80% from last year. Losses at its business division in News Corp. narrowed to $43 million from $73 million a year earlier.
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