Tag Archives: Barron’s

Hinton to lead Dow Jones; Thomson to be WSJ publisher

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Sarah Ellison of The Wall Street Journal reports Thursday that News Corp. executive Les Hinton will become the new CEO of Dow Jones & Co. in the wake of current CEO Richard Zannino‘s resignation, and Robert Thomson, currently the editor of The Times of London, will become The Journal’s publisher after Dow Jones is acquired by News Corp. next week.

Thomson will apparently replace current publisher Gordon Crovitz.

Les HintonEllison wrote, “Mr. Hinton, who is News International executive chairman, has ties to News Corp Chairman Rupert Murdoch going back several decades. He was named executive chairman of News International in 1995. Prior to that he was CEO of News America Publishing, whose titles included the New York Post.

“Mr. Zannino’s resignation, which is expected to be the first of a series of executive departures from Dow Jones, highlights the dramatic change about to sweep through the company, publisher of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and Dow Jones Newswires. News Corp’s acquisition of the company, expected to be approved by Dow Jones shareholders at a meeting next Thursday, ends more than a century of control by the Bancroft family.

“Mr. Zannino had expressed a desire to stay at Dow Jones under News Corp’s ownership. What changed his mind isn’t clear although it’s likely that Mr. Murdoch didn’t offer him the role he wanted. News Corp. is expected to shortly name a new management team for Dow Jones. Among the executives expected to follow Mr. Zannino out the door are Dow Jones Chief Financial Officer Bill Plummer, while Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz will relinquish his title.”

Read more here.

At least my kids will be happy

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Standard & Poor’s on Wednesday said video game retailer GameStop Corp. will replace Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, Marketwatch and Barron’s, in the S&P 500 at a date yet to be announced, according to an Associated Press story.

Dow JonesDow Jones is being bought by Rupert Murdoch‘s News Corp., although the deal has yet to be completed. It’s expected to close soon after a shareholders meeting scheduled for the end of next week.

In addition, Dow Jones set a deadline of Dec. 12 for its shareholders to decide whether to take News Corp. stock or cash in exchange for its Dow Jones stock once the deal closes.

Smart Money editor returns to Barron's

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The New York Post’s Keith Kelly also reports that Smart Money editor Fleming Meeks is returning to Barron’s.

Fleming MeeksKelly wrote, “Meeks had been a top editor at Barron’s when he was dispatched to be the editor of Smart Money.

“But then four years ago Jonathan Dahl was brought in as Smart Money’s editor- in-chief above Meeks. Many had expected Meeks to exit at that time, but he stayed in place.

“One source said he always chaffed under Dahl’s rule.

“Meeks could not be reached, but Dahl insisted, ‘No, that’s not true at all.’

“Dahl said that Meeks was going back to head up a new electronic newsletter division at Barron’s, which is owned by Dow Jones, the media company being acquired by News Corp., publisher of The Post.”

Read more here.

WSJ posts best ad revenue month in seven years

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The following memo from Dow Jones & Co. CEO Richard Zannino was distributed within the company on Monday:

“Dear friends and colleagues:

Richard Zannino“Everyday we see more evidence of the success of our efforts. The latest is a strong month of October where we posted a 23% increase in our total revenue. This included strong growth in advertising revenue at the Journal, Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal Digital Network.

“Wall Street Journal advertising revenue in October increased 6.7%. This was the biggest ad revenue month at the Journal in dollar terms since November 2000. At WSJDN, advertising revenue jumped 30% in October.

“Those results by themselves are notable. It’s all the more remarkable when compared with our peers. For example, just Friday, the New York Times reported a decline in its print newspaper ad revenue during October. And today Gannett said ad revenue at USAToday fell 6.1% in October.

“I’ve said before and it’s even truer today that we at Dow Jones are bucking industry trends and successfully transforming our business. The work we’ve been doing has reshaped this company to compete in this dynamic digital age. And we’ve done it while still managing to produce industry-leading results.

“Dow Jones has posted seven consecutive quarters of double-digit operating income growth through the 2007 third quarter. The October ad revenue results confirm that we’re on track for an eighth as well.”

Some business media more impressive than others

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Syndicated columnist Malcolm Berko advises a reader pare his business media offerings down to just a few publications when looking for investment information. He likes The Economist, Fortune, BusinessWeek and Forbes, among others, but doesn’t like Investor’s Business Daily and The Wall Street Journal.

Malcolm BerkoBerko wrote, “Business Week presents topical information, well-written with enough depth to assist you in making the right decisions.

Barron’s is a must and I’ve been a Barron’s devotee since the Roosevelt administration — Teddy’s. Its articles are superbly written and unlike the comic book presentations of Kiplinger, Money, Worth and Smart Money (cancel all of them), Barron’s is written for the intelligent investor so he can make logical and informed decisions.

“Meanwhile, your Global Investor is dry as dust and about as useful.

“The Wall Street Journal doesn’t tickle my tonsils. It tries to cover too much with too little and is basically an adult version of IBD. Cancel the WSJ.”

Read more here.

Dow Jones shareholders to vote on News Corp. deal on Dec. 13

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Dow Jones & Co. shareholders will vote Dec. 13 to sell the parent company of The Wall Street Journal, Marketwatch and Barron’s to News Corp., according to an amended News Corp. S-4 filed Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Dow JonesThe Bancroft family that controls Dow Jones has agreed to vote 37 percent of its stock in favor of the deal, which gaurantees that it will go through because its stock has extra voting rights.

The shareholders meeting will be held in the Grand Ballroom at the New York Marriott Financial Center, located at 85 West Street, in New York, at 10 a.m., according to the filing. The deal is expected to close soon after the annual meeting.

If you haven’t looked at the S-4, it includes the following:

1. Background to how the deal was negotiated.

2. The editorial independence agreement for the Journal.

3. Dow Jones internal financial forecasts.

24/7 Wall St. names top business news bloggers

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Douglas MacIntyre of 24/7 Wall St. has compiled his top 10 business and financial news bloggers, and while the list includes some well-known names such as Eric Savitz of Barron’s and Herb Greenberg of Marketwatch, he’s also got some names on his list that may not ring a bell with business journalism junkies.

The list includes:

Paul LaMonicaPaul R. La Monica, Media Biz, CNNMoney. Old media. New media. This blog covers all of the major companies in these industries. Google. Comcast. The works. He has a finger on trends that most writers miss. As well-researched as any writing on these topics. Has the eye of securities analyst’s.

Bruce Einhorn, Eye On Asia, BusinessWeek. It’s hard to get good picture of what is going on in the business community and the big companies in Asia. Part of it is the vastness of the region, and part is the number of cultures. This kind of reporting and analysis is simply not available anywhere else.

Mathew Ingram, Technology Blog. Globe and Mail. This blogger switch hits. He has his own blog and writes for this Canadian newspaper. Unusually keen insights covering the world of online media and technology. Not from America,  but we can waive that.

Read the rest of the list here.

FCC commissioner requests inquiry into News Corp. acquisition of Dow Jones

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Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps is asking the chairman to open an inquiry into News Corp.’s $5.6 billion proposed acquisition of Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, Marketwatch and Barron’s, writes John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable.

Dow JonesEggerton wrote, “Saying this was unprecedented in the history of the FCC, Copps proposed opening a proceeding to determine ‘whether approval of this transaction accords without public-interest responsibilities’ and, taking the opportunity to make a subtle pitch for regulation, posed the question of whether ‘our existing media-ownership rules and precedents are adequate to deal with this proposed transaction.’

“Martin is even now considering scrapping the cross-ownership rule, so Copps’ letter attempts to swing the pendulum the other way.

“The FCC is not reviewing the News Corp.-WSJ transaction because as a ‘national newspaper,’ the Journal does not run afoul of the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban, which applies to local papers and stations in the same market. But Copps said that precedent should not preclude the FCC from analyzing the merger in the broader context of its responsibility to consider the public-interest implications for localism, diversity and competition.”

Read more here.

Crovitz bullish about Dow Jones online properties

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Wall Street Journal publisher Gordon Crovitz and Dow Jones & Co. CEO Rich Zannino talked on the company’s earnings conference call Thursday about the potential that exists with its online web sites.

Gordon CrovitzCrovitz said, “As we said, we will soon hit a million paying subscribers to the Online Journal. Barron’s Online, at well over 100,000, is now the second-largest subscription news site in the world, thus surpassing the Financial Times.

“So we’ve known with the Online Journal that we’ve had the best business site. We think we’ve had the best business model for it. The opportunity and the challenge now is can we be both the best and the largest? And at 10 million uniques for the online Journal, obviously a million of those subscribers, we’re on our way but we’re not the biggest.

“So is there a way to continue to expand our audience while maximizing the profitability of our online operations? We think there are some interesting opportunities to do that but I think it is important as outsiders look at our model, to understand that for many years now, we’ve had a hybrid model where most of our unique users, even before the acquisition of MarketWatch, have been to open content, even as we’ve had very fast-growing number of subscribers to the online Journal.

“So we’ve had the best of both worlds. We’re now very focused on how do we also be the largest source of business and financial news online.”

The full transcript can be found here.

Bad summer for business magazines

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Ten out of 16 business magazines reported a decline in ad dollars for the three months ended Sept. 30, and 14 out of 16 reported a decline in ad pages during the same time period, according to data released from the Magazine Publishers of America.

Fast CompanyOnly Barron’s, The Economist, Fast Company, Forbes, Money and Smart Money reported an increase in ad dollars for the three-month period, while only Fast Company and Smart Money reported an increase in ad pages.

Fast Company reported a 22.6 percent increase in ad dollars to $7 million and a 15.6 percent increase in ad pages to nearly 99 pages during the time period, according to data analyzed by Talking Biz News. Smart Money reported a 20.6 percent increase in ad dollars to $13.9 million and a 14.4 percent increase in ad pages to 172.5.

Among the worst performers for the three-month period was Business 2.0, which reported a 36 percent decrease in ad dollars to $7.8 million and a 40 percent drop in ad pages to 113.5. Parent Time Inc. shut the magazine after the October issue.

Among the big business magazines, BusinessWeek and Fortune had sharp declines. BusinessWeek reported a 19.1 percent drop in ad dollars to $53.8 million and a 24.6 percent decrease in ad pages to 443.2, while Fortune posted a 14.4 percent decline in ad dollars to $54.4 million and a 21.1 percent decline in ad pages to 480.2.

In comparison, Forbes posted an 11 percent rise in ad dollars to $69.7 million and a drop of less than 1 percent in ad pages to 609.8.

See all of the data here.