'Wall Street Journal' Hires Consumer Advertising Expert Richard Skeen

Continues to Broaden Base beyond Shrinking B2B Advertising

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Dow Jones, continuing its march toward a new set of goals, is preparing to name Richard Skeen the new director of The Wall Street Journal's consumer advertising group.

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Mr. Skeen had been VP-advertising at Massive Incorporated, where he played a major role in developing and introducing Massive's video-game advertising network. He previously served in senior sales posts at consumer magazines like Conde Nast's GQ, The New Yorker and Outside.

The parent of The Wall Street Journal has been making quick moves lately as it attempts to keep up with technological and market changes.

Business-to-business advertising, once the unshakable foundation for The Journal's model, has become undependable at best. So executives are increasingly eager to pump up consumer advertising, which now comprises about 25% of domestic advertising in The Journal. Pursuit of that goal has produced, to cite the splashiest initiative, the introduction of the "Weekend Edition" last September.

The company's consumer-savvy hire is charged with taking the drive much further. "Mr. Skeen will help lead our advertising team to deliver strong revenue growth next year in all our consumer categories," said Judy Barry, senior VP-sales and marketing, The Journal. Mr. Skeen, who will report to Ms. Barry, is taking a newly created post.

Reorienting toward consumer advertising is just one part of a broader transition remaking the way Dow Jones does business. On Jan. 3, Dow Jones CEO Peter R. Kann, and his wife, Karen Elliott House, publisher, The Journal, surprised the industry by saying they would leave the company that they had both been part of for a combined 73 years. Richard F. Zannino, the chief operating officer who was named CEO, does not plan to fill the publisher slot at The Journal and seems more likely to redistribute some of those duties to L. Gordon Crovitz, now the head of electronic publishing.

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