Other items: Chief of FX channel to head Fox network and 20 Snoqualmie jobs to go to Connecticut.

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General Electric

Growth strategy spurs forecast boost

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General Electric boosted its earnings forecast yesterday and moved ahead with a strategy to return to double-digit profit growth by shedding slow-growth businesses and eying more lucrative opportunities.

The Fairfield, Conn.-based industrial, financial and media company said it expects to collect about $2.6 billion related to stock sales in its insurance business, Genworth Financial. GE is selling off less profitable businesses and expanding into growth areas such as consumer and commercial finance.

GE cited the Genworth deal and strong performance across its businesses as it lifted its first-quarter earnings target to between 37 cents and 38 cents a share, up from 36 cents to 37 cents a share. It also backed its full-year earnings estimate of $1.76 to $1.83 a share.

News Corp.

Chief of FX channel to head Fox network

News Corp. named Peter Liguori, head of the company’s FX cable-television channel, to replace Gail Berman as president of entertainment at the Fox broadcast TV network.

Liguori, 44, brought critically praised programs such as “The Shield” and “Nip/Tuck” to FX, Fox said in a statement. Berman, 47, is leaving Fox to take a post at Viacom’s Paramount Pictures, Fox spokesman Joe Earley said earlier yesterday.

Liguori is taking over a network rejuvenated by the return of the talent show “American Idol” in January and by programs such as medical drama “House” and “24,” about a counterterrorism unit.

Fox was the most-watched network during the February “sweeps” audience-ratings period, used to set advertising rates at local stations.

Under Liguori, FX’s subscriber base in the past five years has risen to more than 84 million homes from 39 million.

Royal Philips Electronics

20 Snoqualmie jobs to go to Connecticut

About 20 sales and marketing jobs are being transferred out of the Royal Philips Electronics operation in Snoqualmie and into a newly consolidated sales and marketing force in Stamford, Conn.

The company develops and manufactures Sonicare toothbrushes at the Snoqualmie plant. It will continue to employ about 500 workers there after the transfer April 1, said Christy Mommsen, a brand manager with Philips.

The company said it will be better able to focus on customers by consolidating in one place the marketing of its domestic appliances, which include Philips, Sonicare, Norelco and other brands.

Compiled from The Associated Press, Seattle Times business staff

and Bloomberg News