billion next month.
"Digital is the great revolution we are facing," Murdoch declared in announcing he expected to make subscriber-based Web site free.
Pay Walls Disappearing
Murdoch, who said in September he would like to end the WSJ.com subscription fee, has rejected criticism from analysts who have said a free site could be risky because WSJ.com is one of the few news Web sites that attracts paying customers.
Making it free would follow the decision of several other news Web sites to stop charging for some content. The Financial Times Web site now allows readers to get up to 30 articles a
month for free, while The New York Times also stopped charging for access to regular columnists' contributions as well as other articles.
Murdoch reiterated News Corp's Internet division was expected to reap $1 billion in revenues this year.
News Corp last week reaffirmed forecasts for low-teens percentage growth in fiscal 2008 operating profit growth despite a solid first quarter, saying it could face a tough economic climate next year.
"We are running ahead of that but it is too early to change the guidance," Murdoch told the meeting.
More Subprime Shocks
Murdoch, who owns about 30 percent of News Corp, said there had been no impact on forward advertising so far from the subprime mortgage crisis, but warned there could be more shocks
"I personally think you are going to see quite a few more shocks, particularly in Europe, and they are going to spread around the world," he said.
"We have been through a tremendous amount of loose money and lending and we are going to see that come to roost."
Murdoch said the firm had just completed selling free-to-air television advertising for the U.S. Super Bowl at "quite phenomenal" rates.
He said News Corp's recently launched Fox Business Network hoped to attract 45 million subscribers next year, up from 40 million forecast previously.
Aiming to repeat the success of the Fox News Channel, which unseated CNN as the top cable news network four years after its launch, Fox Business is part of Murdoch's ambitions to build a
global financial media powerhouse in print, the Internet and TV.
He said News Corp's movie studio, a key driver of earnings, was looking good.
"We budgeted to do a little less this year. We have already caught that deficit up. It is very risky to predetermine the outcome of films we release but it is looking extremely good."
Murdoch refused to be drawn on the upcoming Australian election and said he had no current interest in buying an Australian free-to-air television network. He said Ten Network Holdings Ltd, recently up for sale, was overvalued.
Asked when he expected to retire, Murdoch replied with his traditional: "Whenever they carry me out."