U.S. News

Journal Will Add Luster to Murdoch's Media Empire

By Julia Boorstin

Media empire builder Rupert Murdoch covets Dow Jonesfor its editorial content and clout rather than any extra dollars the acquisition would add to News Corp.'s bottom line.

Those who say Murdoch will get just a premium national newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, and a so-so magazine, Barron’s, aren’t taking the long view and overlook the synergies the acquisition would provide.

Murdoch plans to launch a TV business channel on Oct. 15 and the acquisition of Dow Jones will give the startup immediate prestige and top-notch content. The Journal’s online edition is subscription based, bucking the typical Internet model of free distribution.

The Wall Street Journal.

General circulation newspapers face declining circulation and falling ad revenue. The Journal is different. It’s a national paper with a stable of top-of-the-line advertisers that want to reach the Journal’s two million subscribers, many of them influential Wall Street and business leaders.

The Wall Street Journal also has a conservative editorial page. It’s a good counterpoint to the liberal New York Timesand Washington Post and it would fit nicely with the editorial page of Murdoch’s money-losing New York Post.

News Corp. owns major newspapers in England and Australia, but the New York Post, its only holding in the United States, loses about $70 million a year. The Post, the loudest and most outrageous of the New York tabloids, has deftly positioned itself as a goofball “second read” after upscale readers finish the Journal or Times.