December 13, 2012

Ready for the Spilt

From David Carr at The New York Times — Betting against Rupert Murdoch hasn't gone very well for many people, including me. When he bought The Wall Street Journal in 2007 and brought in a trusted associate, Robert Thomson from The Times of London, I said that he might ruin one of the country's most important newspapers.

That did not happen. Mr. Thomson's version of The Journal, with a stronger focus on general news, a beefed-up Saturday edition and a luxury magazine, has been a hit with readers. It may not have the literary majesty of its previous incarnation, but the new bosses made it clear that was hardly a priority.

The Journal has added subscribers to become the largest newspaper in the United States by circulation and has reached a new group of advertisers outside the narrow confines of business. The financial results are tougher to know, but they won't remain opaque for long. Early next year, News Corporation will split into two companies, with the entertainment assets bundled into the Fox Group and the publishing assets separated into a division that will retain the News Corporation name.