Looking holistically while trying to make more money

Lex Fenwick

Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson of The Financial Times profiles Dow Jones & Co. CEO Lex Fenwick and his moves since taking over at the company that operates The Wall Street Journal.

Edgecliffe-Johnson writes, “Gerard Baker, christened with champagne by Rupert Murdoch on his appointment as editor-in-chief last year, says his task is to maintain and extend the reach of the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones while accelerating the integration of their newsrooms.

“News remains the core of the business, Mr Fenwick says, noting Bloomberg’s aggressive expansion of its own editorial team. ‘Unless you think they’re really stupid, why would they be adding journalists if they think news is less and less significant?’ he asks.

“The company is juggling the demands of newswire customers and those of online readers who increasingly expect similarly instantaneous information, but will continue to favour those paying a premium, releasing news on its wire about two minutes before it hits WSJ.com. ‘The time difference is worth something but that time difference is getting smaller as the world tweets and all this other garbage,’ Mr Fenwick says.

“‘We’re trying to look holistically at our whole company and we’d like to make some more money,’ he says, describing Dow Jones as profitable but disclosing no further details.

“In 2006, the last full year for which Dow Jones published results, it reported operating income of $105m on revenue of $1.78bn. Morgan Stanley estimates that it will make a 5 per cent margin of earnings before interest and tax this year, rising to 8 per cent in 2014.”

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