Kara Swisher

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Exclusive: Could Jon Miller’s Digital Future at News Corp. Include a New Investment Fund?

One of the issues that seems to have gotten lost in the complex transaction that will ultimately break apart News Corp. into two separate entities — an entertainment company and a publishing one — is the fate of its overall digital strategy in the new paradigm.

That arena for the media behemoth is now being headed by Jon Miller, the longtime Internet exec and investor, who was hired by the media giant in 2009 as chief digital officer to lead its tech and online initiatives.

His job has encompassed everything from his failed effort to revive its once mighty Myspace property to selling it and other properties off to working on its Hulu partnership. Miller has also been active in China, looking for digital investment opportunities for News Corp. there.

But now that the company is being cleaved in two, it’s hard to imagine where Miller would land in either new entity.

And, according to numerous sources, he probably will not and is instead in discussions with CEO Rupert Murdoch and others at the company about forming a separate investment fund to focus on digital publishing and media.

It will not be owned by either new News Corp. unit, said sources.

While the possibility is in its early stages and might not happen, the fund could be seeded with money from News Corp. or, more interestingly, from the Murdoch family itself.

Such a shift for Miller would not be a stretch, since he has run an investment fund with Yahoo exec Ross Levinsohn called Fuse Capital. He has worked previously running AOL and also did a stint at IAC.

While Miller has made a number of different investments across the tech landscape, digital publishing has been a particular focus.

Miller and News Corp. declined comment.

(Full disclosure: This Web site is owned by Dow Jones, which is owned — in turn — by News Corp.)


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— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo