OLD Media Moves

Biz professors believe Murdoch won't hurt WSJ

August 16, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Professors at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University say they don’t believe that News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch will do anything to damage the quality of The Wall Street Journal.

Wall Street JournalAn unbylined article on the School’s web site stated, “Amy Hillman, a W. P. Carey professor of management, says that Murdoch understands all this and will not tinker too much with the Journal’s winning position.

“‘He’s buying the WSJ because it is an extremely high-quality brand and product that has an undisputed position providing business news in the U.S. and elsewhere,’ she said. ‘The value in WSJ lies in its long history of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism and the utmost integrity of its reporting. I’d be very surprised if he meddled too much or made many changes, because he’s paying a high price for WSJ, one that presumably is based on its lofty reputation and position.’

“Hillman is the author of a 1999 case study, ‘The Wall Street Journal, print versus Interactive,’ that analyzes the WSJ‘s remarkable success in building circulation, 5 million worldwide, but also charging for its online product, a task few papers have accomplished.

Key to that accomplishment was deciding ‘how two products should be positioned, priced and promoted in order to maximize revenue for both,’ she wrote. ‘Despite its long-standing traditional front page format without full paper-width headlines, six columns, dot print photos, and the ‘What’s News’ summaries, the Journal innovated many new formats in the 1990s. Starting in 1993, the Journal expanded its business and economic trend regional coverage to select parts of the United States, including Texas, Florida, California, New England, the Northwest and the Southeast.'”

Read more here.

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