OLD Media Moves

When the Wall Street Journal last considered a name change

July 5, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch’s suggestion last week that The Wall Street Journal change its name to WSJ isn’t the first time the business newspaper considered a name change, reports Christine Haughney of the New York Times.

Haughney writes, “In 1946, a Princeton, N.J., polling firm concluded that that name was a handicap to the newspaper’s growth, and no part of the name was spared. As recounted by Richard F. Tofel in ‘Restless Genius: Barney Kilgore, The Wall Street Journal, and the Invention of Modern Journalism,’ ‘Both ‘Wall Street’ (with its narrowly financial and Eastern connotations) and ‘Journal’ (evocative of magazines) were said to be problematic.”

“This assessment came as Mr. Kilgore was in the midst of guiding The Journal to its stature as one of the nation’s leading newspapers. The names editors considered included World’s Work, The North American Journal and, um, Business Day, Mr. Tofel writes. (That last one has a familiar ring to it.) A former editorial page editor, William Grimes, suggested The National Journal. Kenneth Hogate, Mr. Kilgore’s boss at the time, wanted to call it Financial America.

“Changing the paper’s name again came up last week after the News Corporation’s announcement that it would split the company into separate entertainment and publishing companies. Mr. Murdoch said on CNBC that the company might change the name of The Wall Street Journal to WSJ. A spokeswoman for the newspaper declined to comment.”

Read more here.

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