NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- News Corp. Chairman-CEO Rupert Murdoch confirmed today for the first time what everyone in New York media already knows: The Wall Street Journal will launch its New York edition in April.
It's a direct thrust at The New York Times, whose New York metro advertisers haven't had an efficient alternative in the Journal before. Now those marketers will have a new possibility, a prospect that's already tempted Bloomingdale's and Bergdorf Goodman.
The question is whether The Journal's New York edition can succeed in a brutally competitive media market already crowded by TV, web, radio, magazine and, of course, newspaper outlets. The newspapers alone include Mr. Murdoch's New York Post, its tabloid archrival the Daily News, the New York Observer, and of course The New York Times.The Journal and its owner, News Corp., had refused to confirm the new edition before Mr. Murdoch's remarks today to the Real Estate Board of New York. "You've probably already read a little about the new section on New York we'll be launching next month," Mr. Murdoch said, according to a transcript of those remarks provided by the Journal.
"We're adding a whole new section and taking on reporters and editors," Mr. Murdoch added. "We believe that, in its pursuit of journalism prizes and a national reputation, a certain other New York daily has essentially stopped covering the city the way it once did. In so doing, they have mistakenly overlooked the most fascinating city in the world -- and left the interests and concerns of people like you far behind them. I promise you this: The Wall Street Journal will not make that mistake."
"I can tell you that the new section will be full color -- and it will be feisty. It will cover everything that makes New York great: state politics, local politics, business, culture and sports. Oh yes -- and real estate."
The Times, of course, disagrees with Mr. Murdoch's assessment. "The Times' distinctive New York coverage -- government, politics, the courts, fashion, styles, the arts, culture, education, business and more -- commands a deeply loyal and engaged print and web audience in New York and is almost three times the size of the Journal's," Scott Heekin-Canedy, president and general manager of The New York Times, told Ad Age last week.
Paid print circulation, overall audience and readership among women, the self-employed and small-business owners are all much bigger for The Times in the New York area, Mr. Heekin-Canedy said. "Our advertisers know the difference and will continue to market to this engaged, outstanding audience."