By paulgillin | July 9, 2007 - 5:29 am - Posted in Fake News

The Business magazine out of the UK reports that Rupert Murdoch has succeeded in his bid for Dow Jones, paying $5 billion for the world’s most prestigious business publisher.

It’s interesting that this deal was sidetracked over issues of editorial independence rather than price. Dow has always considered the integrity of the Journal‘s news operation to be a corporate jewel and that’s reassuring. Somewhat.

NY Post famous headlineStill, you can’t ignore the Murdoch legacy. He turned the NY Post into a British tabloid-style scandal sheet whose outrageous headlines are still its best-known quality. Fox News’ right-leaning, sensationalist reporting makes a lot of people in the TV news business wince. The Times of London, another Murdoch acquisition, has never regained its reputation as one of the world’s great newspapers.

Of course, the Journal already has a conservative political bent and it has done the best of any national newspaper at keeping its editorial voice relevant to changing audience tastes. But you have to wonder what the paper will look like in five years.

The International Herald Tribune reports that Journal staffers are worried about layoffs, and well they should be, given the precipitous drop in business-to-business print advertising noted in the article. IBM’s magazine and newspaper ad spending fell from $144.6M in 2004 to under $37 million last year, the article notes, citing TNS Media Intelligence figures.

Fortunately, Dow Jones has been ahead of the pack in moving its ad business online. Media Post reports that online revenues now account for 30% of Dow Jones’ total sales. There’s no question that the Journal will survive the coming newspaper meltdown. The question is: in what form?



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