OLD Media Moves

Dow Jones president: We had a strong first quarter

November 3, 2011

Posted by Chris Roush

Dow Jones & Co. president Todd Larsen sent out the following announcement to the staff of The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, Barron’s and Marketwatch.com on Thursday afternoon.

News Corp. is the parent of Dow Jones, and it reported its fiscal first quarter results on Wednesday.

Larsen wrote:

We had another great quarter with more growth in both revenue and profit.

In the three months through September, revenue companywide rose 7.5% while expenses decreased, indicating our improving profitability even in what’s traditionally one of the publishing industry’s weakest quarters.

Advertising was one of the revenue drivers. Ad revenue improved again at the Journal in print and digital, marking our eighth consecutive quarter of increasing ad revenue for the Journal franchise. Companywide, ad revenue jumped 13% from the quarter a year ago. This far outpaces our major competitors and continues an impressive trend.

Circulation revenue continued to grow as well, up 5% companywide. This was the 19th consecutive quarter of rising circulation revenue for the print Journal.

Our information services businesses, including Factiva, also grew in the quarter, even in a climate of market volatility and at a time when financial institutions and other companies are looking to cut costs.

Our progress derives from the innovative thinking that has produced new products and new features over the past few years. WSJ. magazine is a great example. The September 2011 issue was the magazine’s largest in terms of ad pages and total pages. The November issue published last Saturday topped previous efforts and was WSJ.’s biggest ad-revenue generator ever. The magazine, WSJ Weekend and a host of content enhancements helped the Journal to grow total circulation by 1.7% in the ABC period ended September and retain its position as the No. 1 selling newspaper franchise in the U.S. B2B customers are recognizing our innovation and the value we deliver as well. Earlier this year we improved Factiva to make it easier to use and discover relevant content. Our new iPad edition of Factiva brilliantly showcases the product and its enhancements. More intuitive, more global and more mobile is translating into more sales. Other products, such as Risk & Compliance, are tapping significant demand in the market for our compelling combination of content and technology.

Our drive for innovation to better serve our readers and customers will continue throughout the coming year – building on the momentum we have achieved. We have many projects in the works across Dow Jones, and a few of the highlights include:

· WallStreetJournal.de will launch early next year in Germany. It is the latest in a series of successful local language products bringing our high-value content to local audiences in their native language.

· Dow Jones FX Trader is the latest extension of our Financial Market’s franchise. Now in use in some major financial institutions and in demo in others, Dow Jones FX Trader provides essential news, information and insight for the huge foreign-exchange market.

· The Corporate Markets team is improving and creating products that leverage Factiva’s content and technology for specialty customers in areas such as public relations and corporate communications. We will launch a new product for this segment called Factiva Communicator in beta later this month.

· In print, the completion of the complex and important Color48 project gives the Journal a great deal of additional color capacity to provide advertisers with more options and us with the opportunity to sell more color advertising.

· Digitally, we’re bringing innovative thinking right to our readers with new products and applications. WSJ Live brings our expanding video content to internet-connected televisions and screens in our homes and offices, and this week we announced the addition of several new distribution channels. The WSJ Social app lets readers tap the judgment of friends and colleagues as part of their Journal-reading experience.

The global economy is volatile, and our visibility into forward revenues is as cloudy as ever. Despite these difficulties, we have been making great headway and are hitting our goals. That is because of all that you are doing to work hard and deliver across the organization. While we will have some tough challenges for growth in the second quarter and beyond, we believe that we have the ability to achieve our aggressive goals for this year and maintain our momentum.

Thank you for an excellent start to 2012 and for continuing to insist on excellence and continued progress and innovation in our products and operations.

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