Rupert Murdoch became the owner of his first newspaper, the Adelaide News, at the ripe old age of 22. Today he owns 170 newspapers, including the crown jewel, the Wall Street Journal. He explains why the Wall Street Journal's circulation has grown since September 2007 (a month after Murdoch bought it), while the other ten largest newspapers in the U.S. have shrunk. Why? The answer may surprise you.

The interviewer, Peter Robinson of Uncommon Knowledge, points out that 20% of the country identifies with being conservative, and 40% identifies with being Independent. Yet, most other newspapers are left-leaning liberals. While Murdoch doesn't admit to the Wall Street Journal being conservative, after hemming and hawing for a while, Murdoch does point out the the mood of the country has become more "center right." And that the WSJ strives to be objective, while the rest of the press is "unfair."







Comments


Written by darrenjansen
937 days ago

hmm, looks like the link didn't work for me :-(



Written by ShawnHessinger
4514 days ago

Fox News is definitely a great example of conservatism as brand and a great success story from that standpoint, as I said. And certainly they've connected with that market. However, I think there is a lot more to WSJ's success than conservative tone having to do with the in depth quality and value of the product/service they provide. (Even liberals are huge fans!) You'll get no arguments from me that a persistent ignorance of its market has led much traditional media down the road to ruin. But this ignorance goes way beyond simple political outlook right down to a failure to provide the kinds of information that people find valuable. No value. No customers.



Written by smallbiztrends
4514 days ago

The conservative Fox News is beating CNN and MSNBC with a stick. The best that CNN can do is battle it out with MSNBC for 2nd place. As this article (http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/02/in-january-cnn-overtakes-msnbc/) points out:

"Similarly, among total viewers in prime time Fox News was unapproachable with 2.94 million viewers. But CNN grabbed second place for the month with 946,000 to MSNBC's 838,000."

That would suggest there really is something to that conservative connection. I flip around to all news channels, but I keep going back to Fox. And I can tell you it's not because of the quality of the coverage (I would hardly describe Fox as high quality coverage). I flip back to them because I get sick watching America-bashers like Christianne Amanpour.

I'm not here to argue politics. But as a matter of business sense, if more news organizations would get in sync with the American public, they might have more subscribers and viewers. Just saying....



Written by ShawnHessinger
4514 days ago

I sometimes find myself skeptical when people like Peter Robinson, a one-time speech writer for both President Ronald Reagan and then-Vice President George H.W. Bush make arguments about the connection between ideology and business in the guise of an interview. Even his former boss Murdoch, for whom Robinson once worked at the News Corporation, seems uncomfortable with the suggestion that conservative values are at the root of WSJ's success. See more about Robinson's own political leanings in his Wikipedia profile or look him up elsewhere and you may wonder whether interviews like these say much more about the interviewer than the subject. Robinson also doesn't mention that one of the other 10 largest newspapers which, like the New York Times, failed to duplicate the Wall Street Journal's achievements of increasing circulation, is the New York Post, another Murdoch property and also arguably conservative in tone. The argument for conservatism as a product could much more correctly be made for another of Murdoch's crown jewels, Fox News, but Murdoch himself, in the interview, gave a much more reasonable answer to why WSJ has been so successful. In the period since buying the paper Murdoch has done something almost no other news organization has attempted. Instead of just cutting costs he has actually worked to make his product better. A better product leads to improved profitability? Who'd have thought?



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