News Corp. digital chief Jon Miller exits

The departure was apparently prompted by a reorganization that will split News Corp.'s entertainment and publishing operations into separate companies.

Jonathan Miller

News Corp. digital chief Jonathan Miller is out as of the end of September.

The executive, who had mixed success trying to drag a disparate range of old-media businesses into the digital age -- or, in the case of MySpace, trying to keep it there -- is apparently heading for the exit as a result of the big restructuring that will divide News into two freestanding companies.

AllThingsD first reported Miller's pending departure, which News confirmed with a press release.

It has been a rough season for digital-media execs. Interim Yahoo CEO Ross Levinsohn, who helped stabilize the company in the wake of his predecessor's unceremonious departure, got the cold shoulder himself from a Yahoo board that preferred the energetic (and telegenic) former Googler Marissa Mayer . (Levinsohn, by the way, was endorsed by none other than Miller as Yahoo's permanent CEO.) Levinson left Yahoo a week-and-a-half later.

Then up popped an internal memo about Hulu that suggested celebrated CEO Jason Kilar might be packing his bags soon. Kilar, you may recall, publicly took himself out of the running as a Yahoo CEO candidate.

And now Miller, who was also once reportedly under consideration as a possible Yahoo CEO , will be hitting the showers. His departure doesn't appear to be a specific referendum on his tenure at News. Miller gets credit for carefully managing Fox's investment in Hulu, striking a number of deals with Apple and selling off MySpace last year.

On the other hand, Miller also failed to revive MySpace, which News bought for $580 million in 2005, only to see it enter a precipitous decline almost immediately. Hulu itself remains riven by internal dissension among its TV-network and private-equity owners. And The Daily, a tablet-only publication that News launched last year with Apple, just laid off a third of its staff.

As ATD notes, prior to his tenure at News, Miller ran an investment fund called Fuse Capital with -- wait for it -- Ross Levinsohn! Now that the two will have more time on their hands, don't be surprised if they jump back into the investing game together. Hey, they could always rope in Kilar, assuming worst comes to worst over at Hulu -- and then dub their fund Third Wheel Capital.

Updated throughout the early afternoon.

About the author

David Hamilton is the assistant managing editor of CNET News. He has been writing and editing business and tech coverage for about two decades -- the majority of that at the Wall Street Journal in both Tokyo and San Francisco. He is a two-time winner of the Overseas Press Club award and has written for numerous magazines and blogs, including Slate, Science, VentureBeat, CBS Interactive's BNET, California Lawyer and the New Republic.

 

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