Marketwatch media columnist Jon Friedman writes Monday that the News Corp. offer to acquire Dow Jones & Co. last week puts business cable network CNBC on the defensive as it prepares for the launch of News Corp.’s Fox Business Channel.
Friedman wrote, “One of the battles between Fox’s business channel and CNBC will be fought online. CNBC could be vulnerable here, particularly if News Corp’s audacious takeover attempt goes through. (Dow JonesÂ owns the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, the Dow Jones Newswires and MarketWatch, the publisher of this report.)
“CNBC presented a reworked Web site last December. But it still looks slapped together. It lacks vision and has an extremely busy look to boot. It’s anything but sleek.
“By contrast, the Wall Street Journal, which Murdoch covets for its high quality and prestige, has built one of the most admired Internet sites around. WSJ.com reflects the newspaper’s commitment to excellence in every phase of its operations. No wonder it could boast 931,000 subscribers by the end of the first quarter.
“The Journal’s site features some of the most sophisticated blogs and graphics anywhere. Shrewdly, it stresses interactivity, one of the keys to success in the Internet world.
“Given their pedigrees, it’s no surprise that the Journal, the New York Times Co. and the Washington Post Co.Â have all assembled strong Web products.
“By contrast, the biggest problem with CNBC’s Web site is that the newsiest information on it reads a little like a virtual ad for … CNBC.”
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