Nat Ives of Advertising Age writes Monday that the advertising sales team at The Wall Street Journal appears to be welcoming an acquisition of the company by News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch.
Ives wrote, “How might News Corp. help? Well, some sales execs are hoping Mr. Murdoch will shake up an ad-sales team that is still accused of being too oriented around order-taking. They also hope he’ll provide some much-needed marketing dollars to push the paper to potential advertisers. Others hope the integration of the Journal with News Corp.’s other assets — such as Fox News and the coming Fox Business Network — will improve resources and reputation on all sides. ‘It’s a good marriage,’ said one Journal sales executive.
“On the West Coast, a Journal salesman said he thought the takeover would make his job easier because cable TV is easier to sell than newsprint right now. Offering both to advertisers would be more attractive than a sales call for newsprint alone, he said.
“Still, the cross-platform selling opportunities are not quite as easy to realize as some might expect. Normally the strategy in such situations is to take the leading advertisers on one property and persuade them to spend more on the other properties. But in this case there’s already a lot of overlap. Four advertisers made both the top 10 lists for both the Journal and Fox News in 2006: Ford, GM, Verizon and Sprint Nextel. Those four spent more at the Journal — $98.3 million — than at Fox News — $51.4 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence.”
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