Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Bain Leaves News Corp.'s FAN, Which Will Be Integrated Into MySpace: The Internal Memos

Adam Bain (pictured here), the well-regarded exec who ran the Fox Audience Network, called FAN, is going to Twitter to head up its early but increasingly aggressive advertising revenue efforts.

Here is the internal memo from News Corp. digital head Jon Miller about the changes at the ad network, in which it is clear the company is scrambling to shift strategy.

News Corp. (NWS) had been working on a plan for more than a year to spin off FAN and sell a piece of it to private equity investors, in part to hold onto Bain.

Now, it will go spinning back to MySpace, its principal source of ad inventory.

In his memo to employees below, Miller talked about the spin-off discussions, which failed principally due to issues over internal revenue share with MySpace.

Thus, back to the troubled social networking site, which is–after much exec turmoil–being run by Mike Jones. Jones has been trying to reinvigorate MySpace with a new look and a strategy focused on music and entertainment content.

Said Miller: “By aligning the FAN platform directly with MySpace, we will be able to utilize its services to further drive MySpace’s revenue efforts and to play a key part of the site’s planned re-launch later this year.”

News of Bain’s departure as FAN president–after a dozen years at News Corp.–to become a top exec at Twitter was first reported by TechCrunch earlier today, but without details of what would happen to FAN.

Bain also addresses his departure in the memo below.

First, here is the Miller memo:

Dear FAN employees:

I wanted to address the media reports this morning regarding Adam’s departure and also share some details on our plans for FAN moving forward. First off, Adam Bain will indeed be departing FAN–a company he has led from the ground up and built into one of the Web’s top five advertising platforms in just over two years. He has been an invaluable asset to this company and we wish him well in the future.

In addition, today we are announcing a plan to move forward with an integration of FAN’s team and technology directly with MySpace. As many of you know, we have had discussions with a number of interested parties in recent months with respect to potential partnerships involving FAN. After deliberating over these external options, we ultimately decided that the best path for FAN–and for News Corp.–is to put this leading-edge technology to work to benefit our existing assets. By aligning the FAN platform directly with MySpace, we will be able to utilize its services to further drive MySpace’s revenue efforts and to play a key part of the site’s planned re-launch later this year.

Bruce Wiseman will work closely with Mike Jones and Jack Kennedy on the overall MySpace integration efforts, and you will be hearing more from your managers shortly on details regarding the integration and how it will affect you. In addition, we will be sharing information broadly with you as much as possible over the next several weeks.

Lastly, I want to thank all of you for your commitment and dedication to FAN over the past two years–this is an incredibly talented team that’s accomplished a great deal in a very short amount of time. Also, please join me in once again thanking Adam for all his work–he will be missed both personally and professionally–and we look forward to crossing paths with him in the future.

Jon Miller

And here is the Bain memo to his employees:


I wanted to let you know that after 12 years at Newscorp, I’m moving on to pursue a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in San Francisco.

As you can imagine, this is a pretty emotional decision and one that didn’t come easily. I’ve literally grown up inside this company and will always be grateful for the amazing opportunities that were afforded to me–the greatest among them: the opportunity to work with and lead this team.

The things we’ve done in the ad business–Self-Serve, Targeting, Segmentation and our work with big data–are too numerous to detail here, but they are industry-defining and have set Newscorp up to succeed for many years to come.

My deep thanks to Jon Miller–I’m humbled by the freedom and support given to me here at FAN. And lastly, I want to thank you, my team. I will miss the heck out of you, but I’m psyched to watch you continue to succeed, albeit from afar.

Bruce will be leading the company thru this transitional period.

Thanks again for all of your support and the privilege of leading this extraordinary group over the last two years.


Finally, here is the News Corp. official press release on the whole, well, messy thing:


MySpace to Leverage FAN’s Team and Leading Advertising Platform FAN President Adam Bain to Depart

Los Angeles, Calif.–August 23, 2010–News Corporation’s MySpace (http://www.MySpace.com) and Fox Audience Network (FAN) today announced a plan to integrate the FAN business directly with MySpace. The move will enable MySpace to leverage FAN’s team and its leading technology platform. In addition, FAN announced that its President, Adam Bain, will leave the company to pursue other opportunities.

“FAN and MySpace have worked together closely over the past several years and this integration will further align these two properties,” said Jon Miller, Chairman and CEO of Digital Media for News Corporation. “Adam has been an invaluable asset to News Corp, having led FAN’s growth from the ground up into one of the Web’s largest ad platforms, and we wish him well in the future.”

“By fully integrating FAN’s platform and team, we are in a great position to further leverage FAN’s technology, which allows advertisers to serve the right ad to the right person and apply that to content across MySpace to provide a more relevant experience for our users,” said Mike Jones, President of MySpace. “The FAN team is incredibly talented and we’re excited to welcome them to the MySpace family.”

Fox Audience Network was created in 2007 and currently reaches more than 150 million Internet users. The company leverages proprietary advertising technology to create highly-targeted advertising campaigns for a wide range of marketers, while also delivering cutting-edge tools and services to third-party publisher partners, advertising agencies and research companies.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik