Saturday, April 24, 2010

Rupert Murdoch Puts on Display His NYT Killing Skills, Monday

By Jennifer Sabba

The Wall Street Journal is offering some businesses firesale prices for full-page ads in its highly anticipated New York edition to seduce advertisers away from The New York Times.

Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson and other executives plan to unveil the edition during a press briefing on Monday morning.

The section will cover local news, culture and sports, and will be incorporated within the Wall Street Journal. It will be circulated in the New York area.

Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corp owns the Journal, is betting that New Yorkers want an alternative to the Times, and he is willing to risk the ire of any shareholders not interested in pulp and ink.

David Joyce, an analyst at Miller Tabak, said investors "tend to hate" the newspaper assets of News Corp.

"They wish it could be spun out, but you have to go into News Corp assuming they're going to be around. Newspapers, the power and influence that come along with (them), are integral to the News Corp strategy."

To entice advertisers onto the pages of the New York edition, the Wall Street Journal is deeply cutting the cost of a full-page ad and, as a bonus, throwing in a full-page ad in the New York Post, also owned by News Corp.

Some local businesses can buy a full-page ad for $19,000, according to a Wall Street Journal presentation to advertisers that was shown to Reuters by a source. That is a steep discount to full-page print ads in large newspapers that can cost up to $90,000.

A Dow Jones source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said only a few New York area businesses not currently advertising in the Wall Street Journal or the New York Post were being offered the discount.

"With News Corp having a vast array of diversified assets, they can afford to essentially buy market share in the New York newspaper market by offering cut-rate advertising," said Miller Tabak's Joyce. "That could perhaps hurt New York Times' finances.

Read the rest here.

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