The changing Wall Street Journal
Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post writes Monday about the changes that have occurred in the past few years at The Wall Street Journal as it prepares to launch a New York edition to do battle with The New York Times.
Kurtz writes, “Murdoch, for his part, had to take a $3 billion write-down last year on his newspaper division, which includes the Journal, suggesting that he seriously overpaid when he bought Dow Jones for $5 billion.
“Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson, a Murdoch confidant brought in from another News Corp. property, the Times of London, declined to be interviewed. He is, like his boss, a native of Australia and has criticized the Times as politically ‘skewed.’
“Thomson has gradually transformed the nation’s preeminent business publication into more of a general-interest newspaper. By edging toward more political and cultural stories and away from its laserlike focus on corporate America, some Journal insiders say, the paper is relinquishing its core franchise. Other staffers, impressed by Murdoch’s investments in the paper, have come to believe that he isn’t just pursuing a vanity play.
“While the Journal was once content to be a second read, Steiger says, ‘in the current print environment, you have to think of becoming a first read for at least some of your audience.'”
Read more here.