The day that WSJ.com launched 20 years ago
Rich Jaroslovsky, who was managing editor of WSJ.com and one of the team members that launched The Journal’s website, writes for The Observer about the day it went live 20 years ago today.
Jaroslovsky writes, “Around 4 in the afternoon, I called my wife in New Jersey, asked her to pack an overnight bag for me and summoned a courier service to deliver it to Manhattan, since it was clear I wouldn’t be home that night. I booked a room at the Vista International Hotel, across the street in the World Trade Center.
“With the print paper’s early-edition deadline approaching, we decided to pull the article announcing thelaunch; it was far from clear there would be one.
“Finally, in the early evening, word came from South Brunswick: The servers were back on line, setting off a mad scramble among the hardy young WSJ.com news staffers to make up for more than 10 hours of lost time.
“Most of that long, long day and night remains a blur. A few things, though, stand out. There was the preternatural calm of Neil Budde, my boss and the visionary behind the online Journal, who was scheduled to lead the Monday morning New York press conference introducing WSJ.com — or to explain why it had failed. Ken Burenga, the president and chief operating officer of Dow Jones, stayed with us all night in a quiet show of support I still appreciate.
“That evening, in consultation with Paul Steiger, the managing editor of the print Journal, we decided to reinstate the story announcing the launch for the paper’s late edition.”
Read more here.