David Lieberman of USA Today writes that the deal to sell The Wall Street Journal, the deal to combine Reuters with Thomson and the launch of Conde Nast Portfolio, among other moves, signals business journalism’s importance in today’s society.
Lieberman wrote, “So, why is business news a hot business?
“It’s certainly easier to attract big audiences with stories about Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom than it is with features about stocks, corporate strategy and retirement plans.
“But news media outlets are multiplying â€” including more cable channels and websites â€” and becoming more specialized. That makes the competition for advertising dollars increasingly intense.
“In that environment, it makes sense to focus on appealing to the well-to-do rather than courting a mass audience. Advertisers pay top dollar to reach people with cash to burn. Purveyors of luxury goods and financial-services companies, including lenders and brokerages, are especially eager to reach the rich.
“Just look at CNBC. Its ratings are unimpressive: Its business news attracts about 300,000 viewers most weekdays, according to Nielsen Media, the commonly used source for this data (though one that CNBC disputes because Nielsen doesn’t count people who watch the channel at work).
“Still, CNBC is a money machine. It should generate nearly $335.3 million in profit on $584.5 million in revenue this year, according to SNL Kagan Research.”
Read more here.