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‘Wall Street Journal’ launches 'Weekend Edition'

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Dow Jones & Co.’s The Wall Street Journal “Weekend Edition” made its debut this past Saturday. It was the Journal’s first Saturday edition in more than 50 years.

The new “Weekend Edition” provides business news and expanded lifestyle coverage, including the close of Friday markets and a new lifestyle section called “Pursuits.” The edition is designed to reach the Journal’s affluent audience of decision-makers at home.

It is being distributed free to the Journal’s 1.75 million subscribers and sold on the newsstand for $1.50.

“We felt there was a void in the marketplace that we would be able to fill over the weekend for our readers,” said Jill Kaplan, general manager of the weekend Journal,” “Personal Journal” and “The Journal Report.”

“There has always been a compelling news argument for publishing on weekends,” she added, including coverage of Friday’s news, perspective on the business week and a preview of the week to come.

From a sales perspective, the “Weekend Edition” will allow the Journal to break into new categories of advertisers and expand its client base in existing areas, including travel, home, retail, liquor and luxury, Kaplan said.

The debut issue received a strong response from advertisers, including a new campaign by shipping company DHL Express USA, an existing campaign from United Technologies Corp. and new advertising from Lands’ End and wine company Penfolds.

“This medium was selected because we are trying to reach decision-makers in their down time,” said Karen Jones, VP-advertising, brand and promotions at DHL, which launched a new campaign on Sept. 12 focused on customer service.

“The readership of the Journal “Weekend Edition” targets the shipping decision-makers when they are reading for pleasure. Just because you are a business person doesn't mean you only read business publications.”

Jones said DHL plans to continue advertising in the weekend Journal.

“We believe it will be a high-profile space for us in a top notch publication like the Journal that breaks through the clutter and provides a consistent space for messages about customer service each weekend to Journal readers,” she said.

Adam Gross, VP-marketing at media investment bank the Jordan, Edmiston Group, called the launch of the “Weekend Edition” “a very good play.”

“ ‘The Weekend Journal’ section [in Friday editions] has been a huge success for the newspaper,” said Gross, pointing to advertising growth in the 20% range since the launch of the section in the late 1990s.

“The other aspect is, the daily flagship Wall Street Journal newspaper has been losing ad dollars for many years. They may be able bring in a new set of advertisers [with the “Weekend Edition”].”

The Journal also announced changes to its Monday edition in connection with the launch of the ““Weekend Edition”.” These include providing analysis of weekend news and forward-looking stories. New editorial content includes a “What’s Ahead” calendar feature on page 1, new emphasis on management issues in the “Marketplace” section and a new area inside the “Money & Investing” section providing a summary of key market-moving data or earnings coming out during the week ahead.

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