Fox Interactive tweaks ad operations

Bain to replace Barrett at FIM gig

News Corp. has restructured the advertising operations unit of MySpace parent Fox Interactive Media amid reports the division may miss its revenue target for the fiscal year ending June 30.

Michael Barrett, exec veep and chief revenue officer for Fox Interactive Media (FIM), will exit after a two-month transition period. In the restructuring, Adam Bain has been promoted to to the newly created post of prexy, Fox Interactive Media Audience Network, comprising MySpace, IGN Entertainment, Fox Sports.com and RottenTomatoes.com.

Bain will continue to report to FIM prexy Peter Levinsohn.

In a memo sent to staffers Friday, FIM said it would restructure its ad sales operations and traffic-generation activities to better integrate execs in those units with the individual brands they serve. Bain’s group-level focus will be on developing new ad technologies that will allow FIM to more effectively sell targeted advertising across its many sites, as well as handling web ad sales for outside companies.

News Corp. chief Rupert Murdoch told Wall Street last year that he expected FIM to hit $1 billion in revenue for the conglom’s fiscal year 2008, the lion’s share coming from MySpace. The Wall Street Journal reported in Friday’s edition that FIM may miss its $1 billion benchmark by as much as $100 million. A Fox Interactive Media spokeswoman said the unit expects to be “close to our target” for fiscal 2008.

Bain most recently served as exec veep of technology and production. He’s credited with driving the development of the “HyperTargeting” tech system that allows advertisers to customize ads on MySpace to reach narrowly targeted slices of the social networking giant’s 110 million unique users.

“The platforms developed under Adam’s leadership are highly scalable and can be leveraged by sites both inside and outside the FIM family,” Levinsohn said. “By formally creating the Audience Network, we have empowered Adam and his team to grow this part of our business substantially.”

Barrett joined FIM in 2006 from Time Warner, where he was exec veep of sales and partner marketing for AOL.

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