FYI 09.23.2009

Dow Jones Closes Far Eastern Economic Review; Best Buy's Five Star Chain Hires McCann

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HONG KONG ( -- Dow Jones & Co. has put the final nail in the coffin of one of Asia's most revered publications.

Sixty-three years after it was launched in Hong Kong, the Far Eastern Economic Review will cease publication in December 2009. Current Review subscribers will be offered a one-year subscription to

"The decision to cease publication of the Review is a difficult one made after a careful study of the magazine's prospects in a challenging business climate," said Todd Larsen, chief operating officer at Dow Jones Consumer Media Group.

In a statement, the journal's parent company, Dow Jones, blamed the decision on the global recession: "Unfortunately, despite several attempts at invigorating the brand, the Review's continued losses in advertising revenue and readers is now unsustainable."

The statement also cited a need to "focus on its core publications to better serve readers and advertisers in key markets, both in print and online [so] opinion and commentary resources from Asia can be expanded across all Dow Jones properties."

The Far Eastern Economic Review launched in 1946, and has a rich history of pioneering journalism, helping set the standard for the press in Asia in the post-World War II era when local publications often lacked the freedom to report honestly.

For many media observers in Asia, the magazine's demise started in October 2004, when Dow Jones turned the weekly news magazine into a monthly journal based on submissions from academics and politicians. Dow Jones laid off around 80 journalists when it instituted the new format, and the magazine never again enjoyed the same prominent and revered position in Asia.

The Review's editor for the past five years, Hugo Restall, will remain a member of The Wall Street Journal editorial board. Mr. Restall served as editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal Asia from 1999 to 2003.
Jiangsu Five Star Appliance Co., which was acquired by Best Buy Co. in 2006, has hired McCann Erickson, Shanghai to handle its advertising, below-the-line marketing, promotions and communications strategy. The appointment, which follows a pitch involving 10 local and international agencies, marks the first time China's third-largest electronics retailer has worked with an agency. Previously, its communication and marketing were handled internally.

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