It was breathtaking to see how fast the aging but still nimble Rupert the Wily stalked and mercilessly killed his prey, Dow Jones, with only a bare hint of blood on his paws. Rupert entered the lair with a dripping hunk of fresh meat ($5 billion), divided and conquered the dysfunctional Bancroft’s and this week came away with the trophy of a lifetime, enough to secure his crown as the greatest media big game hunter of all time.
Seeing how entrenched, resistant and divided the Bancroft’s were to Rupert’s entreaties was a fascinating window into what has been ailing Dow Jones all these years. Dow Jones covers business but it was not being run as a business, or a vital media property. Expect that to change fast.
Three suggestions for Rupert:
1) Lift the beleaguered Dow Jones reporters from their exile in the dreary Harborside bunker in New Jersey. Taking the PATH to get to Dow Jones is unconscionable. And when you arrive at the newsroom, such as it is, it looks like it was constructed to pump propaganda for the Politburo. Bloomberg built a stunning modern cathedral to the power of financial media. Make a post 9/11 patriotic statement, build the Frank Gehry designed financial nerve center of the universe in lower Manhattan. PS: As Bloomberg smartly realized, free cappuccino does wonders for media production.
2) Get an information architecture specialist like Jakob Nielsen to figure the coordinated presentation of news. The recent re-design of the print edition was a failure. It cheapened the Journal, made it into a cheat sheet for the website. Compounding the problem, the Journal online is a confusing mess. Do not offer online content for free. The Journal was a pioneer in charging for content. If done right, it’s worth it. Scale up, not down.
3) Inject the business/financial news with urgency, drama, and sex. It’s what news is about, what business is about. Conde Nast launched Portfolio with huge marketing and a big capital commitment. When I read Portfolio I think – this could easily be in the Journal, the daily diary of the American dream, with the added kicker of deep conservative cred on the editorial pages. Kill the Saturday edition. Nobody reads it and dilutes the focus of the Journal. I bet it doesn’t pay in advertising anyway.
It's that time again: time for our infamous Strumpette Summer Office Outing! The team is off to Galena for our annual country retreat. A little bonding, a little strategy, good food and plenty of wine always ends up meaning a lotta laughs, a ton of memories and a totally rejuvenated spirit. The timing could not be better.
We'd like to wish you all a great weekend. Have fun. Be safe. See you back here first thing Monday.
SHOUT OUT: Special thanks to our friend Agris Robs for the beautiful camera work.
On Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 7:41 AM, Ronn Torossian, President and CEO of 5WPR, emphatically promised that he was going to sue us. No real reason, he was just irritated by our teasing him about getting in bed with pornographer Joe Francis. Anyway, Ronn gave his obscenity-laced word that we'd see the complaint in 72 hours. It's now late by
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