The 10 Most Tech-Savvy Media CEOs

Rupert Murdoch

The media business is so chaotic that a smart move today becomes the monkey on a CEOs’ back tomorrow—look at MySpace! Peter Lauria rates 10 CEOs navigating these choppy waters.

This gallery originally appeared at The Daily Beast and is republished here with permission.

Bob Iger — Disney

Stock Price: $34.57

Smart Digital Moves: Buying Pixar, which gave Disney access to the smartest mind in technology, Steve Jobs; naming Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg to the board; building out ESPN's digital capabilities; getting into casual gaming via Club Penguin and Playdom; naming Playdom's John Pleasants and Yahoo's James Pitaro to lead interactive unit

Not-So-Smart Digital Moves: Mobile ESPN; Disney's Interactive unit lost $65 million last quarter

Verdict: Savvy

Jeff Bewkes — Time Warner

Stock Price: $31.45

Smart Digital Moves: Leading the charge on TV Everywhere, a service designed to provide digital access to cable shows once users are authenticated as subscribers to a cable service provider; merging CNN Money with and; creating strong websites around the sports rights owned by TBS

Not-So-Smart Digital Move: Signing off on the $850 million acquisition of Bebo, which was a colossal failure

Verdict: Somewhat Savvy

Rupert Murdoch — News Corp.

Stock Price: $15.68

Smart Digital Moves: Buying MySpace on the cheap, which has allowed the company to make money from the deal; keeping as a paid website; BSkyB's Sky Player, which is an Internet-based on-demand movie player

Not-So-Smart Digital Moves: Letting MySpace devolve from the social-networking leader into a struggling also-ran; buying IGN, a collection of entertainment-based website that hasn't gotten any traction; putting the London Times behind a paywall; high digital executive turnover

Verdict: Somewhat Savvy

Philippe Dauman — Viacom

Stock Price: $37.29

Smart Digital Moves: Striking a $1 billion deal that gives Netflix the exclusive online rights to movies from the Epix pay-tv channel; buying Harmonix, maker of video game franchise Rock Band; building Comedy Central into a web powerhouse

Not-So-Smart Digital Moves: Suing YouTube, which has cost Viacom hundreds of millions of dollars; MTV's now shuttered Urge; missing out on MySpace, which would have been a better fit with Viacom than it is with News Corp. (though, with hindsight being 20/20, some might say Viacom was smart not to buy MySpace).

Verdict: Not very savvy

Leslie Moonves — CBS

Stock Price: $17.51

Smart Digital Moves: Streaming NCAA tournament games online; moving the outdoor billboard business, which is the ultimate analogue business, to digital; staying away from exclusive distribution deals to keep CBS' content ubiquitous; buying CNET, which gave the company a platform and desperately needed scale

Not-So-Smart Digital Move: Way overpaying for CNET; failing to build out, which is a good fit for its radio station business, in any meaningful way

Verdict: Somewhat Savvy, if only because Moonves has the worst set of assets to makeover digitally

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