Tag Archives: Marketwatch
Les Hinton, the chief executive officer of Dow Jones & Co., sent the following message to employees of the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch.com and Dow Jones Newswires on Thursday afternoon:
We enter this final fiscal quarter of 2011 with many accomplishments to our collective credit.
We continue to bring to the market new products that demonstrate not only the value of quality content but the capacity of Dow Jones to harness technology to the benefit of readers and customers.
Factiva is more intuitive, global, mobile and an indispensible engine of business awareness and intelligence. DJ FX Trader is still new and already yielding essential and valuable insights into the foreign-exchange market. Its utility was endorsed the best possible way when some of the world’s biggest banks were among the first to sign on. We are a leader among publishers on the tablet-computer platform, creating a new and dynamic experience for The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, Dow Jones Investment Banker and soon Factiva too.
Our journalism continues to inform and enlighten audiences around the globe in a time of great tumult. We are grateful for the efforts and the courage of those who have performed with excellence amidst the devastation in Japan and through change and uncertainty in the Middle East.
Our progress is measurable. Through the first nine months of fiscal 2011, Dow Jones revenue increased 5%. That figure includes strong results from the Journal’s U.S. print edition (ad revenue up 7%, circulation revenue up almost 8%) and its digital editions (ad revenue up 19%, circulation revenue up 22%). Our business-to-business operations, by the third quarter, were showing new strength after the extended impact of the financial crisis.
Ours is an uncommon story in the news business. The Journal’s total ad revenue rose 2.6% in the fiscal third quarter, our sixth consecutive quarter of growth. At the New York Times, news group ad revenue fell 3.7% in the same quarter. Where the Journal’s total circulation revenue improved 8% in the quarter ended March, circulation revenue at the Times fell by 3.7%. The print Journal alone has recorded 17 consecutive quarters of circulation-revenue growth, including nearly 6% in the third quarter, as we broadened and improved it. What other newspaper can tell that story?
We achieved this growth with compelling ideas and with business discipline. The fact that we’re already counting many millions in incremental subscription and advertising dollars from our products on tablet computers says a lot about our ability to seize the opportunities of new technology.
To make sure we can carry on building on our successes, we must continue to manage both investment and expense aggressively. I want to thank you all for your contributions.
Kevin Delaney, the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal‘s Web site, sent out the following announcement to the staff:
Among other things Jonathan brings to this assignment is his experience as executive editor of TheStreet.com, where he oversaw the financial site’s newsroom and efforts in areas including blogs.
Jonathan will hand off part of his WSJ.com responsibilities in the coming weeks so he can focus on the MarketWatch effort. Effective right away, I’ll take over Jonathan’s shared responsibility for SmartMoney.com with SmartMoney magazine Editor in Chief Jonathan Dahl. SmartMoney.com Editor Janet Paskin will report jointly to me and Jonathan Dahl.
Our expectation is that Jonathan Krim’s work will benefit in the end not only MarketWatch but the entire WSJ Digital Network. I ask you to lend him your support and ideas.
Krim has been senior deputy managing editor at WSJ.com for the past year. Before that, he was local innovations editor at the Washington Post.
Marketwatch.com media columnist Jon Friedman writes Friday about Bloomberg Television anchor Margaret Brennan, whom he believes is its biggest force in its bid to compete with CNBC and Fox Business Network.
Friedman writes, “BTV is now in 250 million homes worldwide. It has been investing in new studios, staffers and on-air journalists, including at least 10 reporters and anchors. It’s also expanding its programming lineup beyond financial news with the additions of ‘Charlie Rose,’ ‘Bloomberg Game Changers’ and an upcoming technology-oriented program from San Francisco.
“In the wake of the Egyptian uprising, Brennan believes that BTV could find itself in a sweet spot in TV news because of its expertise in covering financial stories and employing thousands of journalists around the world. ‘It’s a business network [and] finance is the only truly globalized industry. Now the rest of business is following.’
“Brennan takes pride in the way that Bloomberg ‘owned’ the sovereign-debt crisis story and how BTV was positioned to cover the Egyptian rebellion as well.”
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Dow Jones & Co. CEO Les Hinton sent out the following e-mail to the company’s employees on Thursday:
Dow Jones fiscal second-quarter results again showed profits and progress as we build a modern model for the news and information business.
Within News Corp.’s second-quarter results yesterday were some encouraging numbers from Dow Jones. Total revenue rose 7% in the three months ended Dec. 31. Circulation revenue jumped nearly 14% companywide, and advertising revenue rose 10%.
It was the fifth consecutive quarter of increasing ad revenue for The Wall Street Journal. Barron’s, MarketWatch and The Wall Street Journal Asia also posted sharp increases in ad revenue. Our enterprise businesses appear to have turned a corner in the quarter, and we are seeing a more favorable trend there.
We continue to invest in our products, particularly those aimed at enterprise customers. Dow Jones FX Trader launched this week. It represents a major opportunity to extend our share of the huge market for foreign-exchange information and to build our Financial Markets business.
This is another important initiative for Dow Jones, which has been growing by investing in content. Greater New York, WSJ Weekend and other initiatives have demonstrated we can turn quality content into business success. DJ FX Trader is an investment in content and technology too. It is a cross-company collaboration on news, technology and business. It brings together the news from The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires with advanced technology from Dow Jones Financial Markets. It leverages the expertise of many people and many products to create something exceptional and new.
We had many accomplishments in the quarter. If this abbreviated list isn’t comprehensive, it is nonetheless representative:
- The Journal again held its position as the No. 1 newspaper in the U.S.
- WSJ. Magazine announced it will publish more frequently, going from six issues in 2010, to nine in 2011 to 10 in 2012.
- Journal editions in Europe and Asia expanded their lifestyle content and launched iPad apps.
- In Hong Kong, the Journal launched a section specific to that thriving metropolis. In Japan, thousands downloaded the Journal’s Japanese-language iPhone app when it debuted there.
- The Journal app for Android debuted to much praise. PC Magazine said: “There is currently one good app for Android tablets. It is the new Wall Street Journal app, and it’s just beautiful…”
- Wall Street Journal Professional Edition announced a custom version tailored for senior financial executives. WSJ Pro received a Codie award this month for best news service. The Codie is a peer-recognition award and among the most prestigious in the software industry.
- At the Local Media Group, a shift to paid online access is driving increases in circulation revenue. All LMG papers now charge for their digital editions, and the results are exceeding expectations.
- In Princeton, we turned the switch on the first of two parts to our solar-power system. We now are generating power from 2.5 megawatts of what later this year will be a 4.1 megawatt system, one of the biggest such corporate sites in the U.S.
We want to continue this progress. We want to continue investing in the future by investing in content and technology and in the vitality and relevance of brands ranging from the Journal to Factiva, VentureSource, Watchlist and more.
The media business moves at digital speed now. At that rate, the future comes faster every day. So we must be restless in pursuit of tomorrow’s readers and customers. We must be relentless in competition for screen space, eyeballs and advertisers. And we must be as diligent in managing our costs as we are in choosing our investments and thus our future.
Thanks to everyone for a successful quarter. These results show what a great company and great colleagues are capable of.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Anne Stanley has been promoted to managing editor in charge of personal finance and special projects at Marketwatch.com.
She has been assistant managing editor/enterprise based in San Francisco.
Stanley becomes the first new MarketWatch.com managing editor in six years and will launch a new era in personal finance aimed at better integrating its coverage with the rest of the Wall Street Journal Digital Network and orchestrating a series of big-picture projects and events.
Stanley has worked every editing job, every production shift, every weekend and holiday, every possible hour of the MarketWatch day for more than 10 years now and has been instrumental in launching and maintaining many of its franchises, such as CEO of the Year and Trading Strategies.
Stanley will report to editor in chief David Callaway. She’s worked as an investigative reporter and covered business and technology for Gannett and Scripps.
Andrea Coombes will remain personal finance editor and will report to Stanley, but will also be taking on a variety of more important reporting and writing assignments.
Les Hinton, the CEO of Dow Jones & Co., the parent of The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, Marketwatch.com and Dow Jones Newswires, sent the following e-mail to the company staff on the wake of its recent performance:
First-quarter results confirm the wisdom of investing in our products and services to provide more value to readers and customers and to drive growth.
In a fiscal quarter in which News Corp.’s earnings were very good, Dow Jones contributed a 9.5% increase in revenue in what is historically a weak three months for the company.
You know already many of the components of success. Ad revenue companywide was up 24% in the period from July through September. Circulation revenue for the entire company was 14% higher. The Wall Street Journal and its international editions were among the drivers. Barron’s showed continued strength. Our digital products paced the advance. Growing circulation and advertising revenue from iPads, e-readers and smartphones offer promise for the future.
Among enterprise products, we were able to increase customer retention even as we felt some declines in the quarter. That was expected given our investment in new and existing services as well as a sales cycle timed around long-term contracts. It’s the long term we’re focused on. We are investing now in our portfolio of Corporate and Financial Markets products – including Factiva, Newswires, Risk & Compliance, Investment Banker and Consultant – to facilitate long-term relationships and commitments and to drive growth.
The quarter included another big product expansion with WSJ Weekend in September. WSJ Weekend and Greater New York, another major expansion in calendar 2010, already have attracted more than 70 new advertisers to the Journal franchise. These are on top of the 88 new advertisers who have used our luxury magazine WSJ. since its launch to reach our affluent and influential readers. Based on that success we will be publishing WSJ. more frequently in 2011.
We are investing in our products and our audiences globally as well as locally. We added European and Asian editions to the Journal’s iPad app. We introduced Chinese and Japanese language WSJ iPhone apps to accelerate our efforts to pursue local audiences around the world. Some of our Local Media Group newspapers have begun charging for online access, and we’re pleased with the early results.
Internally, we haven’t relented in our quest to make our systems and processes the best in the business. MarketWatch journalists joined the Journal and Barron’s on the Methode publishing system. This put our three biggest consumer products on a common publishing system, allowing us to address our readers more precisely. Important projects under way from Finance to IT to HR are designed to make us a smarter, more nimble organization. We’re making customer service a priority and asking employees to contribute ideas to improve the customer experience. That initiative is called Customer 1st , and it recognizes that each of us is responsible for building loyalty reader by reader and client by client.
This economic environment makes it difficult to see too far ahead, so it’s impossible to predict the next year or even the next quarter. But we know what we’ve done, which is prove you can be a success in the newspaper business by selling trusted, authoritative and compelling content in print and on digital devices – and sometimes to the same readers.
Some with circulation half of ours prefer to dismiss our success with mistaken accusations about the Journal selling ads at a discount. The truth is our growing advertising revenue isn’t the result of discounting, and our competitors know that as well as we do. Advertisers are ready to pay a premium for space in the No. 1 newspaper in the U.S. Our product is ever more attractive to readers and advertisers both.
This was a good quarter. The economy remains unsteady, but let us hope this next quarter will be good too. Thank you for the performance you helped make possible and for the even better performance you are making possible now.
Friedman writes, “The pursuit of scoops are his bread and butter. But he also delivers the news in a colorful way, making readers pay more attention to what he is writing.
“On Sept. 11, 2009, Kelly wrote that Bloomberg L.P. had emerged as the front runner to acquire BusinessWeek from McGraw-Hill. Bloomberg, in fact, did scoop up BW.
“‘I was lamenting I don’t have anything strong for the column. I get back from lunch and there’s an unassailable tip that Bloomberg is now in the hunt You know pretty much that once he was in the hunt, he was gonna get it.’
“Then, in 2008, for instance, Kelly reported that ‘Time Inc. today becomes not a publisher of magazines but of pink slips instead,’ when he dished that the magazine was expected to cut more than 250 jobs from its payroll.”
Read more here.
Marketwatch.com media columnist Jon Friedman annoints a number of business journalists who are at the top of the game when it comes to breaking news and blogging.
Here are his selections:
Scoop-meisters: Jeff Bercovici, Keith Kelly, John Koblin
Bercovici of AOL’s Daily Finance, Kelly of the New York Post and Koblin of The New York Observer specialize in breaking news. For fun, they also infuriate PR people, fellow journalists and executives by printing stuff that the establishment wants to keep a secret. In an age when news is regarded as something of a commodity, they keep alive the vanishing art of getting exclusives.
Bloggers: Bess Levin, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Brian Stelter
Levin of Dealbreaker and the New York Times’s duo of Stelter and Sorkin are reinventing journalism with their blog posts. Levin has put a spark into the coverage of finance, daring to inject sarcasm — blasphemy! — and knock the Wall Street crowd off the pedestals that old media blowhards placed them on over the years. Levin sometimes seems to regard the Wall Streeters as little more than ill-mannered frat boys (imagine that). Sorkin has achieved must-read status with dogged reporting. Stelter, only a few years removed from Towson State in Maryland where he first reported on the television industry, has shown that age isn’t a barrier in covering a beat. A hard-working reporter — with generous access to Twitter — can compete with the veterans.
Read more here.
TALKING BIZ NEWS EXCLUSIVE
Editor’s note: As part of its five-year anniversary, Talking Biz News will be posting interviews with top business journalists every day this week. Here is the first one.
David Callaway is editor in chief of MarketWatch.com, responsible for the day-to-day coverage from a team of about 100 journalists on three continents. Callaway joined MarketWatch in March 1999 as managing editor and was promoted to executive editor in early 2000. He became editor in chief in March 2003.
Callaway has been a financial journalist for more than 20 years, having reported on everything from the 1987 stock market crash and Wall Street’s insider trading trials of the late 1980s to the introduction of the European single currency and the consolidation of Europe’s banking and securities industries in the mid-1990s.
Callaway came to MarketWatch from Bloomberg News, where he worked for five years, almost all of it in London, as a reporter and team leader covering financial services. Before that he worked for six years as a reporter, and then columnist, for The Boston Herald.
During his time at MarketWatch, Callaway has seen the site sold twice — first to Dow Jones & Co. in 2004 for more than $460 million, and then three years later when all of Dow Jones & Co. was sold to NewsCorp.
In three of the past six years, MarketWatch has been voted the best financial news site with more than 1 million unique users by Editor & Publisher and Media Week magazine in their Eppy Awards.
Callaway spoke with Talking Biz News via e-mail on Monday about MarketWatch and business journalism. What follows is an edited transcript.
What role do you see MarketWatch playing in business journalism?
MarketWatch levels the playing field for active investors by bringing real-time financial journalism to the masses for free. Rapid coverage and breaking news headlines — long the province of only Reuters, Bloomberg and Dow Jones Newswires — have been a staple at MarketWatch since the beginning. No other website offers them, even now. Also, rapid context and commentary, and a big push into international coverage, help position MarketWatch, I believe, to be the first truly global financial news service entirely online.
How does it differentiate its coverage from the other Dow Jones properties such as The Journal and Dow Jones Newswires?
MarketWatch positions its coverage for investors, active investors or those who at least actively track their holdings. The Wall Street Journal positions itself for corporate executives, the CEOs of companies. Newswires promotes itself to professional traders and financial advisers.
You seem to be sharing more content with The Journal and Dow Jones Newswires recently. Is that intentional?
Under News Corp., the integration of Dow Jones properties has speeded up, particularly between the Wall Street Journal and Newswires, which now jointly run certain bureaus. MarketWatch takes a handful of stories each day from its partners, but 95 percent of our news is still developed entirely by staff.
What sets MarketWatch apart from other online business news sites?
Speed and context. As I said before, we are the only site that sends out headlines on breaking news. Not e-mail alerts. Headlines. My guess is others don’t do it because they don’t click through to anything, but they are a favorite part of our site and something we work hard at. We also develop rapid fire context and commentary on breaking news. Our staple of columnists — Mark Hulbert, Peter Brimelow, Irwin Kellner, David Weidner, etc. — is the largest and most talented in the business, I believe.
Who do you see as your biggest competitors, and why?
As an Internet site selling advertising, MarketWatch competes with the other leaders in the sector — Yahoo Finance, CNNMoney, Forbes.com, etc. But none of those sites are primary news providers. As an editorial operation, we hold ourselves up against Reuters, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, and the New York Times — the primary providers of breaking news, scoops, commentary, and investment ideas. WSJ and Newswires are on this list, but now as partners.
How has MarketWatch changed since you joined in 1999 and become editor in 2003?
We’ve expanded significantly, adding bureaus in Chicago, Boston, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Frankfurt and Madrid. We will soon have a person in Sydney and in Mumbai. We’ve also built out the type of market stories we do, moving from equities into currencies, fixed-income, derivatives and, of course, hedge fund coverage. We’ve added columnists and extra charts and data, and the acquisition of MarketWatch by Dow Jones in 2005 has helped us invest in the company through redesigns and geographic growth.
What areas would you like to see Marketwatch improve its coverage?
We need to add even more international coverage as the markets for investors are increasingly interconnected and move on overseas events. The Greece debt shock and Dubai shocks last year really drove that home. If you go to MarketWatch at 2 a.m. Eastern time, you’ll see it is popping with breaking news and coverage from Asia. Go to Yahoo! or CNNMoney.com or Forbes.com and you’ll see they are dark. We also need to add more markets coverage — analysis of currency movements and options and bonds, to appeal to an even broader range of investors.
What can Marketwatch do that other business news sites don’t to set it apart?
Because of our large stable of columnists, we have great columns, but we also use the team to bang out real-time commentary. It’s kind of like what BreakingViews does for Reuters now. We also have the headlines, which I mentioned earlier, and a commitment to markets coverage, which most sites just outsource now to Reuters or AP.
MarketWatch seems to be doing a lot more video on its site. What is the thinking behind that?
All of the Dow Jones properties are using more video, as we’ve all invested in developing it into a fully-equal form of story-telling with print, web and audio. We’ve found most readers not only want, but expect, some form of video component on their news sites. Traffic is way up, and video is popular with advertisers. So we’re committed to growing it, as long as we can do it in a way that demonstrates strong journalism and story-telling abilities.
What has been the biggest adjustment for business journalism in the past 20 years?
Like all journalism, it’s been the adjustment to an online world. Business and sports journalism are both particularly suited to online coverage, where rapid news and scores are demanded by readers, along with equally fast analysis and commentary. For business journalism in particular, the biggest adjustment after online has been the globalization of the markets and the impact that’s had on investor portfolios.
A lot of people have criticized business news in the past few years for failing to warn consumers about the economy. What’s your take?
There are always going to be unforeseen events, the so-called Black Swans. But in terms of warning about things like real estate bubbles, bond bubbles, tech stock bubbles, all the warnings were there. It’s just that most of the folks riding those bubbles don’t want to listen, journalists included. Just this past week, we’ve seen plenty of warnings about a bond bubble. It will burst at some point, but in a way nobody expected. Subsequently, someone will turn back and say there were no warnings.
Overall, where could there be improvement in business journalism?
Absolutely, there is always room for improvement. Sourcing guidelines could be better across the board; more focus on what readers and investors want rather than what works in terms of traffic (circulation); a bigger-picture, international focus by editors; and new ways to use the Web and mobile devices to tell stories.
Are you concerned that there are big stories being missed such as the Madoff scandal?
There are clearly other Madoffs out there, and when they burst there will be the predictable hair-pulling, but I’m not concerned. It’s the unpredictability of it that makes it news. There are hundreds of great stories out there right now and business journalism is as competitive as ever, so many of them will see the light of day — hopefully first on MarketWatch.