Ironically, the publication most affected by The Wall Street Journal’s recent announcement that it will begin publishing "Weekend Edition" on Sept. 10 of next year may be a magazine in Dow Jones & Co.’s stable: Barron’s.
The Journal’s "Weekend Edition" will include business news, Friday’s stock charts and a new section, ‘‘Pursuits,’’ which will be in the same vein as the newspaper’s "Weekend Journal" and ‘‘Personal Journal’’ sections. "Weekend Edition" will be delivered at no additional charge to all Journal subscribers. It will also be sold at newsstands. Subscribers will have the option of providing a separate address for weekend delivery; currently, 67% of Wall Street Journal subscribers receive their copy each day at home, according to Dow Jones.
Like the planned "Weekend Edition," Barron’s is delivered to residences on Saturdays. And as "Weekend Edition" hopes to do, Barron’s, because of its affluent audience, garners a significant number of consumer advertisers. Through August of this year, the magazine had 966 ad pages, up 9.5% from 882.6 ad pages during the same period last year, according to Publishers Information Bureau figures.
Perhaps, because of the strong performance so far this year, Barron’s Publisher Gary Holland expressed no concern about the Journal’s weekend presence. He said Dow Jones remains bullish on Barron’s and added the company will invest in a redesign of the publication for ‘‘early next year.’’
Overall, Holland argued that Barron’s and the Journal’s "Weekend Edition" will be different enough not to compete directly for advertisers or subscribers. He said Barron’s will remain different—’’more in depth, more opinionated’’—than the Journal, even on Saturday. However, he did acknowledge that Barron’s faced a minor risk in losing subscribers. ‘‘In researching our readers, we gathered a risk loss of about 6%,’’ Holland said.
Robert Crosland, managing director of media investment bank AdMedia Partners, agreed that "Weekend Edition" didn’t pose much of a threat to Barron’s. ‘‘They’re different animals,’’ he said.
For Crosland the biggest issue for Dow Jones with the new "Weekend Edition" isn’t going to be competition—either from the Journal’s weekend issue cannibalizing advertising from the weekday editions or competing with other publications in the company’s stable. The biggest issue will be ensuring the newspaper is delivered five days a week to a subscriber’s office and then to a home address on Saturday.
‘‘I would say the No. 1 issue is logistics,’’ Crosland said.