New York—McGraw-Hill Cos., which publishes BusinessWeek and owns the Standard & Poor’s credit rating agency, said last week that it is cutting 611 jobs, or 3% of its workforce, to reduce costs and boost shareholder returns. The cuts will result in a $43.7 million pretax restructuring charge, reducing fourth-quarter earnings by $27.3 million after taxes, or 8 cents per share, according to McGraw-Hill. The company’s information and media unit, including BusinessWeek, Aviation Week & Space Technology and J.D. Power & Associates, is cutting 114 jobs. In a news statement, McGraw-Hill Chairman-President-CEO Harold “Terry” McGraw said, “Reducing staff is never an easy decision, but we believe the steps we have taken will strengthen our organization, enhance our ability to serve our customers and maximize shareholder value.”
WSJ.com opens access to previously paid content
New York—WSJ.com, which has been one of the most successful paid subscription Web sites, last week rolled out a new Web site that includes editorial content and other features accessible for free. The move came less than a month after Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. officially took the reins at Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal and WSJ.com. The content is accessible through the URLs wsj.com/opinion and OpinionJournal.com. In addition to every editorial, the site features daily columnists and video clips from the weekly WSJ TV show on Fox News Channel, plus original video. An editorial in Thursday’s Journal, said the Web site is “as close as we’ll get to conceding there is such a thing as a free lunch.” Since 2000, most of WSJ.com editorial content has remained behind a paid subscription wall while OpinionJournal.com has been a free site offering select stories plus a few Web-only features.