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Newspapers still powerful: News Corp

AAP logoAAP 22/09/2016 Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent

News Corp is determined to make the media company more digital and global, but chief executive Robert Thomson says newspapers remain powerful platforms.

Mr Thomson, speaking at the Goldman Sachs 25th Annual Communacopia Conference in New York on Thursday, said the outlook for the print advertising market was "very volatile".

However, newspaper ads had the advantage of being 100 per cent viewable and the providence News Corp's vast stable of mastheads offered advertisers remained precious.

"There is no doubt our print mastheads are in transition, but they are still very powerful platforms," Mr Thomson said.

"Ultimately advertisers are looking for affinity, quality and measurability."

News Corp's newspapers, including The Australian, Herald-Sun, The Daily Telegraph, The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and The Sun, created a strong combination with their digital sites.

"The two platforms together form a powerful opportunity for us and a powerful means for advertisers to reach their audiences," he said.

Mr Thomson avoided a question about speculation News Corp was examining whether to merge Fox Sports with its 50 per cent owned Australian pay TV operator Foxtel.

"At the moment we are just focused on growing subscribers at Foxtel," Mr Thomson said.

But the chief executive continued to publicly denigrate one of Foxtel's main rivals Netflix, the US streaming company that launched in Australia last year.

He said Netflix subscribers in Australia do not get the same offering as Netflix customers in the US.

"Netflix has gone there and is not growing at the same rate now as it was a year ago and part of that is Netflix in Australia is Notflix - it just doesn't have the same range of programming that Americans are accustomed to," he said.

"The programming range Foxtel has is vastly superior."

Asked if News Corp, which also owns Dow Jones, HarperCollins and online real estate service Move, was happy with its asset holdings, Mr Thomson replied: "I'm never happy".

"Happiness is weakness," he said.

"The minute you are satisfied you are complacent.

"I try to avoid happiness at all costs."

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