On Print versus Online
Currently, when a new subscriber becomes a print subscriber they’re almost always subscribing to both the print and online journals. WSJ sells print and online together at a single price and has experienced 7 quarters in a row of increased circulation revenue.
Why is print improving?
One reason is the bundling described above.
Another reason is that WSJ sought to “reorient the print journal … [attempting to make it] … more relevant to the audience."
The journal reporter is tasked with taking a corporate earning story, for example, and turning it into something that is essential on the online journal and then essential the next day in print.
The online version focuses on news. The print version puts news in context and adds perspective.
To engage the online audience, the WSJ has also started developing content and features in different verticals. Media companies traditionally served broad audiences. Developing verticals is an attempt to engage audiences more deeply.
One example is the WSJ legal homepage. WSJ has brought on Peter Lattman “a talented blogger that has attracted an extraordinary audience of engaged lawyers.”
On Working with Yahoo and Google
Someone in the audience asked: when you look at Yahoo finance they’ve built quite a business leveraging WSJ and MarketWatch content. How do you address that? How important is it to you to control your advertising inventory rather than outsource it (to Google)?
On the Internet, “other news sources are only a mouse click away online.” WSJ’s goal is to work with others and to be creative.
As for Google, they reach advertisers that the WSJ couldn’t reach on their own (small advertisers through search). It’s a complementary relationship.
On the News Corp Acquisition
Gordon says he sometimes thinks that he’s the last person on the planet that has newspaper and publisher in his title and is still an optimist.
Being part of News Corp. will be a cause for greater optimism.