Felix Salmon of Conde Nast Portfolio writes that a simple count of advertising in The Wall Street Journal during the week shows that the Saturday edition, launched two years ago, may be in trouble under new owner Rupert Murdoch.
Salmon wrote, “To get these numbers, I just totted up the ads I could see in the news portions of the WSJ â€“ I excluded things like Personal Journal, Weekend Journal, and Pursuits. I also excluded the house ad on the back page of the main section of the Saturday WSJ.
“The big numbers, like the Wednesday Marketplace section, were largely attributable to job ads; in general, display advertising seems to be very weak indeed in the WSJ. But the performance of the Saturday Journal is dreadful even by WSJ standards. One front-page ad in the main section, and one tiny legal notice buried in the bottom corner of page six of the Money & Investing section.
“Is the Weekend Journal a failed experiment? Can the property ads in the fluffy sections successfully subsidize the entire rest of the newspaper? And in general, how can the WSJ make itself more attractive to display advertisers? It’ll be interesting to see whether and how Murdoch addresses these questions.”
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