Murdoch's next: new WSJ edition, cut-rate ads hit NYT's vitals | business | Hindustan Times
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Murdoch's next: new WSJ edition, cut-rate ads hit NYT's vitals

Three years ago, Rupert Murdoch coveted the New York Times but was forced to settle for buying the Wall Street Journal.

business Updated: Apr 26, 2010 23:20 IST

Three years ago, Rupert Murdoch coveted the New York Times but was forced to settle for buying the Wall Street Journal.

Now, the tycoon is using the considerable resources of his media empire to try and sink the newspaper that denounced his purchase of the Journal, by launching an advertising price war and a challenge to the Times' lead in reporting New York.

The WSJ is spending $15 million on a new metro edition, promising in-depth coverage of New York politics and life, in an attempt to wrestle readers and revenue away from its debt-ridden rival and ultimately bring it down.

"It's a spear thrust right at the Times, intended to embarrass and bleed the Times," a senior Journal editor told New York magazine about his paper's management earlier this year.

"The idea of the NYT as a burning, sinking ship is something they fantasise about at night."

Last month, Murdoch publicly derided NYT journalism, which sometimes reflects the paper's nickname "The Grey Lady". He said it of "overlooking" its home city after cutting back on local coverage as its financial problems have deepened.

"We believe that in its pursuit of journalism prizes and a national reputation, a certain other New York daily has essentially stopped covering the city the way it once did," he said.

The Journal is planning 10 pages of daily coverage of the city and has recruited 35 reporters for the new metro section, including several from defunct tabloid the New York Sun.

In a move to hit its rival where it is most vulnerable, the WSJ has also sharply cut advertising rates.

The NYT, which is labouring under $650 million of debt, has hit back with a campaign saying it has twice as many business professionals in the city as the Journal.

The NYT has said it has received assurances from companies that even if they advertise in the WSAJ they will not be withdrawing from the paper. The paper also says it will not get in to a pricing war.

The Guardian