OLD Media Moves

Bidder says he can triple views to WSJ.com and Marketwatch, beat CNBC

June 20, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Internet executive Brad Greenspan, who offered Wednesday to purchase a 25 percent stake in Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, said in a letter to its board that he believes he can triple the views to the newspaper’s web site as well as to Marketwatch.com, which is also owned by Dow Jones.

WSJ.comIn his letter, Greenspan, who was once the CEO of the company that ran MySpace, said that he could “grow the WSJ.com and Marketwatch.com websites in the aggregate from current approximate size of 4.3 million U.S. unique users per month combined (according to Comscore/April07) to 15 million U.S. monthly unique users per month. This will vault WSJ/Marketwatch to the position of the most visited/popular/viewed online business website ahead of Yahoo Finance at 10.97 million monthly unique users (Comscore/April07).”

He also wants to develop a new broadcast strategy for the company. In the letter, he stated that he could “leverage growth of online audience to cross-promote, invest in creation of, and launch DJ branded content on television both domestically and in European/Asian markets.”

His goal would be to beat CNBC. Greenspan wrote, “DJ brands (online/offline) on a daily basis touch approximately 2.7 million people. JI believes that a reasonable effort in promotional efforts could quickly get 10% cross-viewership or 270,000 daily viewers of the DJ financial channel. Within 36 months, a financial channel strategy/effort could create the #1 business brand with 270,000 daily viewers or a leading broadcast brand or family 30% larger then CNBC today. Goal- Within 36 months, have DJ financial news channel/programming that has larger daily audience then CNBC.”

Greenspan argued that his offer was better than the News Corp. plan to purchase the whole company for $5 billion. He wrote, “Both large shareholders of the DJ and the employees who breathe life into these important objective ‘news assets’ have indicated that the DJ and its consumer base is best served if the DJ is independent and not being assimilated and absorbed under a pre-existing major media conglomerate.”

He later added that he “will provide capital infusion of $250 million to supercharge online/broadcast/satellite/cable initiatives which have clear growth opportunities in highly lucrative and fast-growing markets.”

Greenspan “will provide injection of knowledge via minority board participation along with hands-on assistance for online/digital strategies to help unlock significantly undervalued and unappreciated DJ-held assets by the public marketplace,” according to his letter.

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