OLD Media Moves

The Wall Street Journal, one year into the Murdoch regime

December 6, 2008

Johnnie Roberts, a Newsweek writer and former Wall Street Journal reporter, writes about the changes at The Journal, one year after its acquisition by Rupert Murdoch.

Roberts writes, “So far, the results are mixed, susceptible to different interpretations and haven’t immunized parent News Corp. from the pounding that all media stocks are absorbing this year. The Journal is drawing more readers and advertisers, including coveted luxury brands. Newsstand sales have soared by more than 20 percent since the economic crisis.

“Dow Jones is looking to add color capacity, according to a company publishing executive who isn’t authorized to discuss the subject. WSJ.com now draws more than 20 million unique visitors per month, and enjoys the enviable distinction of a dual stream of revenues from subscribers and advertisers. But it’s unclear whether the growing print and online audiences are directly linked to Murdoch’s overhaul. Maybe it’s just inherent reader interest in two galvanizing news stories.

“In any case, the Journal’s popularity has yet to boost overall profitability at Dow Jones. In its latest fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30, News Corp. blamed Dow Jones for a $4 million reduction in pretax profits of its global newspaper and information segment.

“Still, as a result of the Journal’s industry-defying growth and News Corp.’s investments, Murdoch finds himself basking in changing sentiment. The Journal newsroom has embraced him as a savior. That was unimaginable in 2007 during the tumultuous eight months between Murdoch’s initial offer and the final acquisition—a corporate drama that dominated the financial press.”

Read more here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.