OLD Media Moves

Salmon agrees with Nocera: WSJ is diluted

September 1, 2008

Felix Salmon of Conde Nast Portfolio writes Monday that he agrees with New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera about the changes at The Wall Street Journal hurting its longstanding excellent business news coverage.

Felix SalmonSalmon writes, “Murdoch is betting that the WSJ’s core business audience has nowhere else to turn, and Nocera himself says that he, personally, will never stop subscribing to the Journal. So the strategy does make some sense, in the short to medium term.

“But in the longer term, it’s destructive to the WSJ’s franchise. Today’s businessmen — the commuters in suits on the 7:05 from somewhere in Westchester — might be a given for Murdoch. But tomorrow’s aren’t. And if the WSJ becomes increasingly indistinguishable, in terms of the stories it runs, from other mainstream media outlets, there’s no reason that the commuters of tomorrow won’t be consuming something entirely different on their mobile devices.

“Maybe it will be an alternative business daily, maybe it will be some kind of aggregated content from around the web, maybe it will be a collection of or video business podcasts. But if the WSJ brand becomes diluted, Murdoch will find, sooner or later, that he can’t take the paper’s core readership for granted any more.”

Read more here.

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