Speaking at News Corp’s annual meeting, Rupert Murdoch outlined his plans for a new business model following “one of the most challenging” years of the past five decades.

News Corp posted $US3.4 billion ($AUD3.7 billion) loss for fiscal 2009. Murdoch wants to move away from advertising reliance, planning to charge for consumer access to online newspaper and entertainment sites, ‘aggregators’ such as Google and cable and satellite providers that carry its free-to-air Fox TV network.

We realise this is going to be a tough challenge, but were determined to take a leadership position in creating an economic template for the future, said Murdoch, dismissing sceptics who doubt the likelihood of consumers paying for online content.

The meeting comes amid disbelief that the move and model will succeed. ABC boss Mark Scott delivered a damning blow in a public lecture last week at Melbourne University:

“They seem largely out of solutions – and instead challenge reality by seeking to deny a revolution that’s already taken place by attempting to use a power that no longer exists, by trying to impose on the world a law that is impossible to enforce… The assumptions that underpin the Murdoch plan seem wistful, and perhaps, wishful.”

Murdoch said that good journalism isn’t free and that successful newspapers of the future will largely exclude aggregators and charge for content. He believes his company will see a stronger year ahead.

The digital revolution is turning traditional business models upside down, said Murdoch.

Despite ruling out clear sailing ahead, the media mogul believes the worst of the recession is over.