Dow Jones mulls Saturday edition of the 'Journal'

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If Dow Jones & Co. launches a Saturday edition of The Wall Street Journal, could a six-day work week be far behind?

Dow Jones ran a Saturday edition of its flagship publication from 1889 until 1953, when stocks stopped trading on Saturdays. Half a century later, with business conducted globally 24-7, Dow Jones reportedly is considering whether to again publish a Saturday edition.

The move would require the company to overcome several obstacles, according to media industry observers. These include the sluggish economy and stiff competition for ad dollars from the newsweeklies—particularly BusinessWeek, which is sent to subscribers on Friday.

Brigitte Trafford, a Dow Jones spokeswoman, would neither confirm nor deny reports about plans to add a Saturday Journal.

A Saturday paper "would seem surprising given the shape of the economy and the print industry," said Alan Jurmain, executive director-media services for Lowe Worldwide. "They would have to be careful, considering the downsizing of business readers in the past few years."

Other b-to-b media buyers said Dow Jones’ authoritative business coverage, combined with "lighter" types of stories, could make a Saturday Journal an inviting option for b-to-b buyers.

"Advertisers might like the added frequency," said Sheree Johnson, senior VP-director of media services for NKH&W Inc., a b-to-b ad agency that recently bought ad space in the Journal for Sprint Inc.’s partnership marketing group. "There could be a pending ad launch late in the week that can’t wait till Monday, and this could help advertisers who want to be in the Journal compared with other business titles."

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