Les Hinton, the CEO of Dow Jones & Co., sent the following e-mail to all company employees on Friday in observance of the one-year anniversary of News Corp. closing on its deal to acquire the parent company of The Wall Street Journal.
Much has changed this past year. And though the economic and business climate is worse, there is no doubt that Dow Jones is better.
Reflect for a moment on all we have accomplished since Dec. 13, 2007, the day News Corp. acquired Dow Jones. We have expanded our coverage, made our news and information more useful and relevant, and gained a significantly larger audience. We have added new products and developed innovative technologies to help our readers and customers work smarter. And we have rethought the way Dow Jones works, making it more efficient and effective.
The Wall Street Journal today is a more complete news source. The Journal has added the national and international context for readers whose concerns donâ€™t stop at the office door. There is more opinion and broader coverage of the arts, culture and sports. And yet, it still is the premier source for business and financial news, analyzed and explained the way only the Journal does.
Our success in widening the scope of the Journal hasnâ€™t been lost on readers. Today, the Journalâ€™s audience is larger than it ever was. Individually paid subscriptions rose more than 2% this year, gains the Journalâ€™s competitors could only envy. Online, the Journal â€“ and with it Barronâ€™s and MarketWatch â€“ have doubled traffic to their sites this past year. Readers have recognized the unique quality of our products.
Readers are the beneficiaries of editorial integration, an ambitious project which is just beginning. We initiated the â€œnews hubâ€? to coordinate not only the allocation of news resources among the Journal, Newswires and MarketWatch, but to ensure that readers of all our products get the news they need. The news hub will be greatly enhanced next year when we consolidate our news operations at the News Corp. headquarters in midtown Manhattan.
Our audiences are more diverse and we are extending our global reach. Newswires made major progress bringing its accurate and insightful coverage of the financial world to new markets through local language products. We have expanded our offerings in Spanish and Dutch through an alliance with the agency EFE and the acquisition of Betten Financial. Newswires also is in the midst of a major expansion in India to meet the exploding demand of that fast-growing economy. Indexes targeted India with products specific to that country and also tapped the world-wide opportunity with new global indexes.
We continued to explore the advantages afforded where products overlap. Conferences is one of the best examples. Barronâ€™s, Financial Information Services and the Journal â€“ separately and together â€“ have extended our brands successfully with these live events. We enhanced our capabilities in that sphere even more this year with the acquisition of Winnerâ€™s Circle and the hot debuts of ECO:Nomics and CEO Council.
We also extended our brands with new concepts such as WSJ. magazine and WSJWine. WSJ. tapped the most affluent demographics within the Journal audience and provided a new outlet for advertisers eager to grow their luxury business. WSJWine matched the Journalâ€™s elite audience with one of its leisure passions. Dow Jones MarketForce added dynamic, customizable charting and portfolio tools. The WSJ Mobile Reader for BlackBerry made the Journal and MarketWatch more convenient for busy, active readers.
Making our products more useful and more relevant was another major emphasis this year. Acquiring Generate, we hastened the development of state-of-the-art business and relationship intelligence tools. Likewise, we have been adopting cutting-edge â€œwidgetsâ€? to embed high-value content into the online workflow. Text-to-speech capabilities add a new audio dimension to Factiva. And we refined our pioneering algorithmic products yet again with â€œlow-latencyâ€? feeds that have given our customers a crucial time advantage.
Those are all accomplishments visible to the customer. Invisible to the customer â€“ and sometimes even to those of us working here â€“ are a raft of improvements within our own offices. Human Resources, Finance, IT and General Services all have been reinventing the way Dow Jones works. Some of these innovations already are aiding our efforts. Others will come online in the near future to make our work more productive and more precise.
Thatâ€™s just some of what you have accomplished this past year. And it bears adding that you did it in an environment where the market trends were unfriendly. You allowed us to accomplish all these things and invest in the future of Dow Jones even as we managed our expenses aggressively.
Dow Jones and News Corp. are passionate and committed. Our aim is to make this company renowned not only for its products, but for opportunity, growth and career development. We took the first steps down that road this year.
I know these times donâ€™t lend themselves to much optimism. It seems unlikely that the challenges we face today will evaporate tomorrow. Thatâ€™s all the more reason to be proud of how far weâ€™ve come since last December. Dow Jones is a better company today, thanks to you. You have made a great company even greater.