Wall Street Journal content analysis Will New York City soon have two New York Times? That hasn’t happened yet, but the trend appears to be in that direction. The Project for Excellence in Journalism analyzed The Wall Street Journal’s editorial profile in the four months before and the three months after Rupert Murdoch’s takeover. It found that business coverage is down sharply in favor of political and international stories. While the Journal still runs far more business news than the Times, the papers appear to be headed toward a similar content model.

The tricky part for the Journal will be figuring out how to sustain its strength (and brand equity) in business coverage and not look too much like the Times. Meanwhile, you have to believe that the Financial Times is salivating at the prospect of moving in on the Journal’s traditional market.


Newsosaur Alan Mutter believes that Murdoch’s strategy in New York is focused on the Daily News, not the Times. He runs some numbers on what would happen if Murdoch controlled both Newsday and the New York Post and concludes that Mortimer Zuckerman’s Daily News would be painted into a corner. One Newsday asset that many reports have overlooked is AM New York, a free daily with 314,000 circulation. The Newsday-Post combo would dominate the profitable Sunday market while AM New York would squeeze the Daily News’ weekday business. When you add up all the Murdoch strategies, you can see New York eventually becoming a two-publisher town, with one publisher holding three of the four titles. 

This may answer some recent questions raised on Wall Street about just what Murdoch is trying to accomplish. Put all the pieces together and the answer appears quite clear.

Perhaps this prospect is injecting some jackrabbit juice into the U.S. Senate, which looks set to strengthen the ban on cross-media ownership in large markets.


On a completely unrelated note, Slate’s Jack Shafer calls out Murdoch for what Shafer says is habitual lying about his 1993 decision to dump the BBC from his Star satellite TV system. The short piece is of mainly historical interest, although it does manage to use the term “genocidal tyrant” as anchor text. If you query Google on that term, you get a page full of Murdoch references.

Other News

  • The Boston Globe avoided layoffs as 23 employees accepted buyout offers. We just don’t know who they are, and the Globe intends to keep it that way. Romenesko has the memo.
  • A day after Wall Street pushed stocks of three newspapers to historic lows, the issues bounced back big on Thursday. Some bloggers are calling the stocks a bargain at current levels and fears appear to be easing about the credit crunch, which should lift spirits at debt-laden newspaper companies.
  • Nielsen posted comparisons of view time spent on various newspaper sites in March, 2008 versus a year earlier. Editor & Publisher noted that only 11 of the top 30 sites reported increases. What struck us was that the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Houston Chronicle websites get almost as much reader time as NYTimes.com and significantly more than WSJ.com. What are they doing right?

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This entry was posted on Friday, April 25th, 2008 at 8:02 am and is filed under Business News, BusinessModel, Journalism, Local news, NewMedia, Newspapers, Regulation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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