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I’m a brand guy. I like to know what a brand stands for and what its mission is. If people on the inside know what a brand stands for, presumably people on the outside will too. The Wall Street Journal has always stood for financial reporting and analysis. Rupert Murdoch, as it was reported in the New York Times this morning,
has been pondering upping the content on hard-hitting news and political reporting in the Wall Street Journal when the News Corp ownership becomes formal. Indeed, he is considering the removal of the Marketplace section of the paper next year. Marketing is a component of financial news — certainly a driver of it, in many cases — so that section of the paper is on message and on brand. Replacing it with something more general, in my mind is a mistake. Competing with the New York Times and other more generalist media properties will water down the WSJ mission, also a mistake. Mr. Murdoch’s new plans might make the “Journal” (yes, there have even been discussions about removing “Wall Street” from the title ) more profitable near-term, but it is not be a good long-term solution.
Should they to move this route, in will step The Financial Times to fillthe void and the Journal will get really dinged. Stay tuned.