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Rupe Wins Dow Jones, Considers Making WSJ.com a Freebie

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MediaBuyerPlanner: It's official: Dow Jones will be purchased by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The news comes after three months of wrangling between the two companies and public debate about journalistic values in general and whether Murdoch will maintain the Wall Street Journal's editorial integrity specifically.
Murdoch, in a move that may have been designed to soothe his critics, announced that he will add four pages of news coverage to the Journal, according to the paper (via Mediaweek). He has also said that he will beef up the Journal's ad sales efforts.
The Journal, which is already tops in ad sales among competitors like Forbes, Fortune and BusinessWeek for national brand advertising, could pose an even greater threat to those publications, and to smaller business dailies like the Financial Times and Investor's Business Daily, if more money is pumped into ad sales efforts, writes the Wall Street Journal.
Bu the biggest change in the company's media landscape could come from television and online, where Murdoch has said he sees the biggest potential. Financial news is spread out among numerous players online, but the new Dow Jones/News Corp. entity could change all that. Larry Kramer, a media consultant who founded MarketWatch.com and subsequently sold it to Dow Jones in 2005, says the companies could "clearly lead the world-wide financial news-gathering market."
Murdoch has indicated that he would like to create a financial news portal, using properties such as WSJ.com, MarketWatch, and the Dow Jones Newswires. To make that work, however, he may have to convert the subscription-model WSJ.com to a free site. Murdoch has said that a study he commissioned concluded that the site could have 10 times as many visitors and five times as much advertising as a free site.
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Vahe Habeshian is the director of publications at MarketingProfs and a long-time editor. Reach him via vahe@marketingprofs.com.

Twitter: @habesh

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