Dow Jones CEO Fenwick bullish on journalism
by Liz Hester
Lex Fenwick, chief executive officer of Dow Jones & Co., opened the full day of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers conference in New York with comments about the importance of investing in quality journalism and content delivery systems.
Fenwick, who spent more than two decades at Bloomberg LP, took his role atop the parent company of the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires in February and talked broadly about the digital strategy.
“Absolutely there’s demand for quality journalism and content,” Fenwick said. “We think it (digital) is one of the greatest opportunities afforded to us. We can now get our content to anyone in the world effectively free of delivery charge.”
Lisa Gibbs, senior writer for Money Magazine, interviewed Fenwick and asked about the differences between Dow Jones and Bloomberg. While praising Bloomberg’s corporate culture of making people “feel as if you’re a part of a family,” Fenwick pointed out the two firms were more different than alike despite being in the financial news business. He mentioned Bloomberg was founded as a data and analytics company with news coming later, while Dow had a 150-year history of covering the markets.
He did, however, say he was working to bring some of the customer service aspects of Bloomberg to Dow Jones. In November, the company is planning to launch a help service via online chat. Fenwick is also planning to invest heavily in content and delivering the news in many different languages, reaching a much wider audience.
Other investments he mentioned were a proprietary distribution system to get out Dow Jones Newswires content. Right now, they use Reuters and Bloomberg terminals as well as The Wall Street Journal web site. Fenwick also said Dow was working to build a portfolio monitoring system tied to the content on their sites. People would be able to enter passwords from their brokerage accounts instead of uploading each holding. Dow Jones would then show real-time data as well as news to match the portfolio.
“We can bring this service and content to people in the lanaguage they speak, I think we can drive readership and build a customer base,” Fenwick said.
He mentioned that those with portfolios were more often affluent, something advertisers love.