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Media Power 50: 'WSJ' stays on top with powerful content, broad business audience

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The Wall Street Journal has always been about content, and content worth paying for—whether in print or digital format. The content the brand creates has shifted, especially under the ownership of News Corp. With the Personal Journal and glossy magazine WSJ, the Journal has attracted more luxury advertising. It has introduced a section covering New York and has added more national and international political coverage to its pages. But, at its heart, the Journal remains a business publication with world-class reporting. Last year the paper won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing, and this year it was a finalist in two categories, including in explanatory reporting for its highly praised series exploring online privacy. Of course, this journalism no longer appears just in print. There's WSJ.com, the Wall Street Journal Digital Network (which includes AllThingsD, Barrons.com, Marketwatch.com and other Dow Jones & Co. sites), mobile apps and four hours of live online video programming every business day. The brand has also expanded its global reach. In addition to The Wall Street Journal Europe and The Wall Street Journal Asia, the brand has websites in German, Japanese and simplified Chinese. “We have a lot of things to sell,” said Michael Rooney, the Journal's chief revenue officer. He describes the brand's content as “liquid editorial” flowing across geographies and from print to digital to in-person events, which include such conferences as D: All Things Digital and ECO:nomics. This content attracts a strong business audience. “One of the reasons you go to The Wall Street Journal is you need to reach business executives who are reading it for political, financial and business reporting, and they're getting all three there,” said Kevin Arsham, VP-account director at agency TargetCast. This business audience, in turn, attracts b-to-b marketers such as Aflac, AT&T Corp., BMO Capital Markets and Sage North America. “We like to use the WSJ as a launch vehicle for Sage North America campaigns due to its high reach, strong credibility and outstanding editorial quality,” said David Rowe, VP-media director at Doremus & Co. “We also have experimented with higher visibility units, such as a fractional ad on the front of the Marketplace section and a strip ad along the bottom of the Small Business reports.” “We are very focused on building audience, getting to know our audience better,” Rooney said. “We want to reach that audience any time, any place, any way they want to get our content.” The brand's overall audience is massive. The newspaper remains the largest in the U.S., with a circulation of 2,096,170. The Wall Street Journal Digital Network has 1.3 million subscribers. WSJ.com reaches more than 34 million monthly unique visitors. Overall, the brand reaches an average 5.8 million unduplicated users daily. The Journal is also slicing and dicing its audience for more precise targeting. Its CFO Journal and CIO Journal aim content at those executive audiences. The brand also has a strong presence in mobile and social. More than 4 million unique users access WSJ.com's mobile site every month. Wall Street Journal Digital Network tablet apps have been downloaded more than 2 million times since being introduced in 2010. The digital network has more than 1.8 million Twitter followers across its brands. The Journal's brands also have more than 564,000 Facebook fans. —Sean Callahan
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