For all the knocks on supposedly slow-footed conglomerates, two big media companies have looked plenty nimble lately. High-stakes acquisitions in new media have fueled 2006 rallies at Disney ( DIS) and News Corp. ( NWS). Disney shares are up more than 15% and News Corp. is up more than 6% this year, despite dilutive acquisitions at both companies. Disney agreed in January to buy animation powerhouse Pixar ( PIXR) for $7.4 billion, while News Corp. over the past year has grabbed Internet plays MySpace for $580 million and IGN Entertainment for $650 million. Gains at Disney and News Corp. show that investors are willing to reward bold gambles in fast-growing businesses, regardless of concerns about size. The news could serve as a tonic to shareholders of laggard players like Time Warner ( TWX), which recently fought off the breakup-minded hedge fund investor Carl Icahn. That is, assuming managers at those companies start making the right moves. Disney CEO Bob Iger hasn't been shy about being early to the game where emerging technological trends are concerned. Witness the fact that he was the first to put his ABC network content on Apple ( AAPL) iPods. Disney has also moved to unload some noncore businesses, as in its radio deal with Citadel Broadcasting ( CDL). "Disney stock certainly has strong momentum with continued ABC ratings strength, the prospect of a very strong opening from Pixar film Cars and continued very favorable reviews for Bob Iger's initial moves as CEO," says Jack Liebau, president of Disney shareholder Liebau Asset Management. Liebau also notes that Disney's theme-park business has been quite strong, particularly in Orlando, and that creative talent in the person of Pixar's John Lasseter should help. Similarly, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and COO Peter Chernin have been focused on grabbing a foothold in new media. Liebau says the MySpace acquisition is proving to be attractive, as the company is growing its subscriber base. He also notes Fox TV is performing well, along with Fox News. Liebau owns shares in News Corp. as well.