OLD Media Moves

WSJ already losing battle to Financial Times

July 24, 2007

Posted by Chris Roush

Trevor Butterworth writes on Huffington Post that those worried about The Wall Street Journal losing its clout in business jouranlism if it is acquired by News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch are ignoring the fact that it’s already losing the battle with the Financial Times.

Financial TimesButterworth wrote, “I’ve been asking people who work on Wall Street what they thought of the looming takeover, and while the sample is small, it’s larger than me and my thoughts alone.

“The general feeling seems to be that over the past five years the Bancrofts have allowed the Journal to spiral into inconsequentiality, while the FT has poured its resources into much more aggressive and insightful coverage of finance. Whether or not that is qualitatively or quantitatively true, I cannot say; but the perception is that the FT is covering bonds, the subprime fiasco in an authoritative, news-breaking way that the WSJ and other papers are not. And such a perception is its own bull market on Wall Street for the FT — and for Murdoch taking over the Journal to restore its competitive edge.

“The question, of course, is whether Murdamort sees the WSJ primary mission as competing against the FT, or whether he envisages the paper as a print equivalent to FOX News, in which case the vision represented by editorial pages has primacy. And the answer to this question will derive from the complex calculations over which strategic approach will make more money over costing more money relative to the mood of the country.”

Read more here.

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